May 8, 2019 Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Easter-C
Acts of the Apostles 8:1-8
There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem… Acts 8:1
There was great joy in that city. Acts 8:8
Lord, what kind of joy is found in persecution? Deacon Stephen was stoned to death and many others arrested or scattered from their homes. Phillip found fertile ground to plant the seed of the good news among people who would listen. Instead of your new church being stamped out it spread and grew and flourished. Good came from evil. Not much has changed because I see religious persecution today in the world. War against your message of love and peace continues. Hearts are turned to stone when your word is ignored. Is there good that can come from modern hatred of you and your followers? Lord, I know the victory was won for us on your cross. But the transformation of the world is still incomplete. Help me to not turn a blind eye to those who suffer for your name. I lift up in prayer anyone who is seeking to do your will. I ask for the graces of perseverance and courage at this time of persecution. In a most powerful way be with those who have been separated from family or community because of your name. May we rejoice in following you wherever you lead. Amen.