SATURDAY 2ND MAY 2020
MEMORIAL OF ST. ATHANASIUS
THIRD WEEK OF EASTER
Acts 9:31-42, JOHN 6:60-69
Nothing has divided the Christian faith in history more than differences in doctrines. We see different Christian bodies preaching different things and different interpretations about the same gospel of Christ. Some pastors even attack and insult others from their pulpit. The Catholic Church has received more of the attack and criticisms because of our traditional way of worship. In fact, a pastor recently uttered some words against the Pope, but the reaction that followed even from non-Catholics shows that the pastor merely showed his ignorance of history and simple secular world events.
As the early Church is starting gradually, we see Peter moving from one city to another to strengthen the faith of the people, and it is very important to him that the right teachings are taught. Once you teach an error, it is more difficult to correct it.
There are some things that do not need that words should be painted when they are taught. Many people do not like the Catholic Church because she does not always tell them what they want to hear to be happy, but truth that will challenge them to live a better life. This is why in the gospel reading of today, many people left Jesus when he preached to them because he told them the truth. Teaching the right thing is very important, even though it makes us hated and unpopular.
We have a perfect example of staying with the truth irrespective of whatever happens in St Athanasius whose memorial we celebrate today. He stood on the side of truth to the end. He worked closely with Bishop Alexander and succeeded him as Bishop of Alexandria. His attack on Arianism, a teaching that denied that Jesus is God, made him to spend about 17 years on exile. At the end, he was happy that he suffered so that we have the right teachings today.
Let us pray today for our separated brethren, especially those who have been misled by wrong doctrines and have hated the Catholic Church for no reason, that they will re-trace their steps and come to know the truth. We also pray for ourselves, that we may be always ready like Jesus, St Peter and St Athanasius to stand on the side of truth. God help us. Amen
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP