THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
May 8, 2019
Today’s reading: Acts 8:1-8
After the martyrdom of Stephen, “on that day, there
broke out a severe persecution of the church in Jerusalem”
(v.1b). Since that time, through two millennia, the Church
has suffered severe persecution from time to time in many
different parts of the world. Today, our Church is still suffering
of Catholics just because of their faith, in Nigeria, India
and the Middle East.
of churches resulting in many deaths, in Sri Lanka, Egypt,
Burnings of churches, such as the Church of St Sulpice and
Notre Dame in France.
of churches, as in France and Germany. In France today,
2 churches are desecrated every day.
President of a Catholic nation cursing the Christian God,
ridiculing the crucifixion of Jesus, urging people to rob
and even kill bishops, and telling Catholics to leave their
Jesus did say that his followers would be treated the same
way he was.
the mission of the Church is propelled by the blood of the
martyrs. And so it was that with the persecution in Jerusalem,
“all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea
and Samaria” (v.1c). And what happened then? “Now
those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”
(v.4). The persecution in effect hastened the proclamation
of the gospel, as Jesus had instructed, first in Jerusalem,
then in Judea and Samaria, and later to the ends of the earth.
grief caused by the persecution in Jerusalem resulted in the
joy caused by the proclamation of the Messiah in Samaria.
“There was great joy in that city.” (c.8).
We the disciples of Jesus are to proclaim the word in every
situation and in every place. If we are opposed, we rejoice
because it is an indication that we are effectively preaching
the gospel. If we are persecuted, we rejoice because the groundwork
is being laid by God for the greater reach of the gospel.
If we are martyred for the faith, we rejoice because God has
given us the ultimate privilege to walk all the way in the
very path of our Lord and Savior.