Do Not Let Anyone Silence You

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Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.’ And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them’” (Acts 4:19-21). From the very beginnings of Christianity, there has always been opposition to the Gospel message. Our first reading today narrates how Peter and John were practically threatened not to preach in the name of Christ again. Even today, the spreading of the Gospel continues to face stiff opposition both from within and outside the Church.

 We live a world that seems to have gotten too used to hearing about God, a world that behaves as if it does not need God, a world where even those who claim to profess the faith live contrary to what the Gospel teaches. In truth, the world has never been in dire need of the Gospel message as it is today. Take social media for instance; consider millions of people who click on secular jokes, worldly music and immoral shows on YouTube, and compare that number with those who click on religious messages, and you will be alarmed at how unpopular it has become in our world today to talk about Jesus. To be honest, I get very discouraged when I see the number of views on our YouTube channel.

 Again, consider the level of persecution Christians face all over the world today both those we see on News Headlines and those happening in the hidden corners of our cities and villages. For instance, see how innocent souls were killed in a Church in Sri-lanka on Easter day.

 Why does the world hate Christ so much? Jesus answers this question by saying: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18-20).

 Dear child of God, if you really want to obey the mandate of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:150), do not expect an easy ride. You are always going to find yourself swimming against the current. Do not be surprised when people begin to fight you.

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 Peter was not afraid of challenging the authorities who tried to silence him from preaching the Gospel. Our world today needs men and women with this kind of boldness and determination to really preach the Gospel in a way that will positively affect the lives of people who are living in darkness today. Do not let anyone silence you.

Fr. Abu