HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: GREAT PERSECUTION AROSE
BY: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY MAY 4 2022
In the early years of Christianity, “Great persecution arose against the Church in Jerusalem” (Acts of the Apostles 8:1b). Saul was among the ruthless persecutors of Christians, who went from house to house dragging men and women and committing them to prison. This period of persecution became a blessing in disguise for the Church as believers who were scattered by the persecution went about preaching the word and breaking new grounds in evangelisation. Persecution of Christians continues even in our present world. In April 2022, a report from cruxnow.com shows there is great persecution of Christians in China under XI Jinping as Christians are repressed, unjustly imprisoned; places of worship demolished and crosses removed. Besides, in 2021 Afghanistan, India and Nigeria were considered countries of particular concern as regards freedom of religion. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) cited various cases in Nigeria where Churches were burned down and worshippers killed in Kaduna; a case of violent mob attack where a Reverend was killed in Kano over the conversion of a Muslim to Christianity and threatening messages issued to Churches in Zamfara State. Today, the new frontier of persecution is digital persecution where disinformation and censorship are used against Christians and other religious minorities. Jesus encourages his followers to remain peaceful and faithful in the tough situations of persecution (Matthew 5:11-12). How do we respond to turbulent situations of persecution and mistreatment?
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 8:1B-8; JOHN 6:35-40 Wednesday, 3rd Week of Easter