The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake. (Acts 16:22-24)
Paul and Silas — as with so many of the early Christians — were certainly not exempt from persecution. Into whatever community they went, they were often met with opposition, sometimes violent opposition.
Jesus told His people quite often that they would meet persecution if they proclaimed His name. After all, He said, if He had been persecuted, why not His followers?
But, Jesus offered hope. He told His people that if they endured, ultimately they would be delivered from persecution and be brought to eternal life and peace with God.
Sometimes, we escape persecution on earth. Today’s reading goes on state that, while in prison, an earthquake shook loose the bars and doors of the jail cells as well as the bonds of Paul and Silas. Their jailer was ready to kill himself, thinking that they had escaped, when Paul told him that they were still there.
The jailer became Christian.
We might be spared persecution, we may be freed from persecution, we may have to endure constant persecution. None of that matters. If we remain faithful to the Lord, we will have the opportunity to live with Him.
We renew our efforts to proclaim the Good News this day.
FAITH ACTION: There are people, today, in chains and in prisons because they dare to proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for them, that they have the grace to endure what comes their way.