Friday 10 May 2024

About Today Readings

St John de Avila | Day of penance

Acts 18: 9-18. God is king of all the earth – Psalm 46(47):2-7. John 16:20-23.

‘But your grief will turn to joy’

Recently it has been claimed that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. It’s possible because Christians also outnumber any other religion, so there are more – and in more dangerous places – to persecute. In Australia, we affirm religious tolerance and condemn persecution of anyone. But today’s readings remind us that the scourge of such persecution is as old as, well, religion itself. Paul lived and preached in Corinth for 18 months, and his success bred fury. The local traditional Jewish leaders wanted him punished by Gallio, the Roman governor. In typical fashion, the Roman governor showed mere disdain for passionate religious division and ignored the call. In the Gospel, Jesus says to his followers ‘You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.’ It all looks rather bleak, until Jesus makes the enduring proviso, ‘ . . . but your grief will turn to joy.’ In a world full of suffering, may such a kingdom come.

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