Tuesday 12th May 2020
Fifth week of Easter
Acts 14:19-28, John 14:27-31
On Passion/Palm Sunday, we read in the gospel reading how Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly and the people acclaimed him their king. In the same mass, we read the passion narrative when the people shout that he should be crucified. I usually wonder how some of the people would turn all of a sudden from acclamation to condemnation.
In the first reading of yesterday, we saw how the people in Lystra and Derbe acclaimed Paul and Barnabas as gods and wanted to offer sacrifices to them. It is surprising how the same people today dragged them outside the town to stone them. This is what the power of evil thought and comments can do. In the case of Jesus, it was the chief priests and elders of the people who incited the people against him, but in the case of Paul and Barnabas, it was Jews who came to Lystra to change the minds of the people towards them. Two lessons are important here.
1. Do not get carried away when people are praising you. A day will come when the same people will turn against you when they have the right motivation from an enemy to do so. People only praise you when you do what they think is beneficial to them, as soon as they feel threatened by you, they may incite others against you to destroy you.
2. Do not lose focus because of criticism and torment. We see that Jesus never complained when the person who had acclaimed him God turned against him, Paul and Barnabas also did not complain of the bad treatment by the people, they simply left Lystra for Derbe. As Christians, we should be ready to get it hot and cold, we should expect the worse even from our closest friends because you can turn from a saint to a demon easily in human eyes. When this happens, we should rejoice and dance because God has counted us worthy to share in his passion. God help us. Amen
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP