As I read the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (14:19-29) this morning, I thought about Saint Paul:
“In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.”
A few verses later, the apostles
“strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
I reflected on my own life as a Christian and the lesson by Jesus (Mark 16:15):
He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”
Missionaries continue to face danger as they preach the Gospel; however, in my comfortable world I do not face hardships that are likely to threaten my life. For example, I probably will not be stoned to near-death like Paul.
I wonder if this is because I am called as a husband and father to proclaim the gospel first to my family? Surely this is a an exercise in monumental patience, generous love and compassion that will continue until I pass from this earth.
There are easy days and hard days in my vocation; however, to borrow a lyric from singer Matthew West:
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now?
Enjoy these related articles:
- Seven Obstacles to Sharing Your Faith, Part 3 (richwendling.wordpress.com)
- Why Christians risk death (cinhosa.wordpress.com)