Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts28,16-20,30-31; Resp. Psalm: Ps11,4,5,7; Gosp. Accl.: Jn16,7,13; Gospel: Jn21,20-25
Paul, the persecutor of the Church that became its great advocate, wore chains like a common felon for the sake of the gospel of the Lord Jesus, whose message he spent a good part of his life to destroy. The work that this great witness did for the sake of the gospel was incomplete if he had not given testimony in Rome, the Imperial capital.
God gave Paul this honour. Even in his chains, Paul lost no opportunity to testify to the good news and to the new life the Lord Jesus had graciously offered him. Before the Jews in Rome, he witnessed to his hope in the Lord Jesus. He boldly told them that he had done nothing against the customs and traditions of his people.
He told them he did not merit the death penalty and that the Romans determined that whatever his crime was did not merit the death penalty. He told them that he was in chains because of the hope of Israel, a hope that was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. In spite of his chains, Paul preached the kingdom of God and taught openly and unhindered for two whole years about the Lord Jesus.
Paul lived his entire life for the Lord Jesus. From the time of his conversion till the day of his death, Paul was single minded in his devotion and service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord today upbraided Peter for wanting to know if the beloved disciple would stay alive until His second coming. Our Lord told him it was immaterial to seek to know who would remain and who would not. What was important was to bear witness, to be at work doing the work the Master had entrusted to them. What was important was to follow the Master daily.
That is also the responsibility we all have as believers. The time and the season for the coming of the Lord is completely immaterial. What is important is to be at work, to be assiduous in the duties He has entrusted to each of us. When we are at our work and He comes back to find us doing it, He will then reward us with everlasting life.
We are almost at the solemnity of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will teach us how to be single-minded in our service of the Master. The Spirit will strengthen us to testify to the hope we have received. Let us ask the Spirit to overshadow us and make of us the temple of His glory.
The best dad in the world died this evening, Friday 18th May, 2018. Earth's loss was heaven's gain. My father, Papa Joseph Igbekele, joined the Saints triumphant. We thank God for the example of Christian life he gave to us his children. I would be grateful if you could remember him in your prayers. I would be in your debt if you could kindly offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of his soul. Eternal rest grant unto my father, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Let us pray: "Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we who have celebrated the paschal festivities may by your gift hold fast to them in the way that we live our lives." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.