“You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship. (Acts 20:34-38)
Paul was not a stranger to dangerous situations. He knew that there were many people who were trying to apprehend him and put an end to him and to the message that he was proclaiming. Having that knowledge, he, nonetheless, continued to preach the Good News.
It often got him arrested. He always seemed to find a way to be freed.
However, he knew that, sooner or later, his foes would win and his life would be forfeited.
That did not stop him, though. To the very end, he would speak about Jesus Christ.
Many a person would do just the opposite. Knowing that others were out to get them, many people would simply flee so as to save themselves.
Paul was in touch with the Lord. He would not betray Him. Paul also knew that his words and his example were being scrutinized not only by his enemies but by those whom Paul won over to the faith. If Paul wavered, he would be telling his many converts that the faith was not important.
We often meet opposition in our world. That is because our world is still set against the Lord. Our world, steeped in sin, wants to have nothing to do with Jesus. It will set itself against us every step of our ways.
Like Paul, we must continue preaching, by word and deed, the Good News.
We might face opposition. We might face peril. We might face death.
None of that matters knowing that one day we will face our Lord. On that day, all that we have gone through will have been worth it!
FAITH ACTION: Pray the Pray for Perseverance:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You as my God and my Savior.
Make me more faithful to Your Gospel and commandments.
By sharing in the Eucharist, may I come to live more fully
in the life You have given me. Keep Your Love alive within
my heart and soul so that I may become worthy of You.
Teach me to value and be thankful for all of Your Gifts.
Help me to strive for eternal life.