Monday, June 23, 2014

The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul - Acts 12:1-11

Acts 12:1-11
James the son of thunder has been silenced by Herod and even though Peter escapes this time his days are numbered and martyrdom will be his reward for following the One he confessed as the Christ. Peter’s escape from the clutches of Herod is the last we hear of him in the Acts of the Apostles and while tradition has him crucified upside down in Rome the scriptures are silent as to his end. The first Christians didn't choose to become the objects of ridicule, scorn and abuse but they were willing to endure all manner of hardships in order to follow the Way and cling to Christ. There are Christians who continue to suffer for the sake of Christ and the church’s fervent prayers on their behalf are much needed. But in the end even the apostles were not spared from the sword or the arena or the cross. It is a testament to their faith that they lived the teaching of Jesus to their death – love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you – even if Paul added the caveat that by doing so you heap burning coals upon their heads.  (Romans 12:20)

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