Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Acts 16:1-10, Psalm 100:2, 3, 5, & John 15:18-21
It may be easy to forget how hard it was to be an early Christian in our culture. Even though we do not have the same day-to-day problems the early Christians experienced, our call is not easy if we are true Christians. It seems that it is so much more permissive to give in to sin and temptation. Christianity is the hard Way. It is harder to be moral, to be true, and to be perfect. When we “do the math” we come to realize that no one told us it would be easy. It is just the opposite. We are told that this Way is difficult and that the reward would not be earthly. It might be more profitable to be immoral, but the right Way, the hard Way, will yield the spiritual reward.
The Lord Jesus tells us that our place is not of the world, and the rewards of our struggle will not be of the world. It might seem frustrating when we see people cheating and prospering (caveat emptor). It doesn’t seem right when immoral people rise to the top by stepping over others or injuring the innocent. Shouldn’t the just be rewarded? Shouldn’t the good prosper? If our place were in this world, our rewards would be worldly. However, our place, like our God, is not of this world. Our reward will not be on earth but in heaven. If we were meant for this world, the good would be rewarded in this world. The world would love the good and the just—but it doesn’t.
Sisters and brothers, our Savior was brutally tortured and killed. How can His followers ever expect more? For the most part, Christians are less likely to be persecuted in our country, and it may be easy to forget our history and our beginnings. Yet, we should never forget where we came from, and even though it is hard, we need to remember where we are going and how to get there.
Question of the Day: How will you recognize the reward of heaven as you live in this world?
Prayer: My Lord and my God, give me always only what is good for my salvation. Do so even if it is not what I think is good for me. Amen.