Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter
One of the beautiful traits of the Scripture is that while it exalts Jesus’ promises for eternal life, it is does not sugarcoat the potential hardships and sufferings that Christians will endure. This passage from Acts presents these contrasting views: Saul pulls Christians from their houses to be imprisoned (Acts 8:1-3) while Philip has the audacity to publically proclaim Christ to the people and does so which such joy (Acts 8:4-8). This same message is pointed out in the Call of the King from the Spiritual Exercises. Whoever wishes to “overcome evil with good, turn hatred aside with love, to conquer all the forces of death…must be willing to labor with me [Christ] and so by following me [Christ] in struggles and suffering may share with me [Christ] in glory” .
The Gospels continues the Bread of Life discourse from yesterday, but really speaks to Jesus’ modus operandi. Jesus came from God to earth to reconnect humanity back to eternal life, which had been lost through the Fall of Humanity (Genesis 3:1-24). Despite what can be overwhelming physical/emotional/spiritual suffering that humans endure, there is this overriding hope in eternal life. C.S. Lewis displays this concept in his Great Divorce, as the vast grey town (Hell) and its ghostly inhabitants are minute compared to the vast immensity of Heaven. As we journey through our earthly lives, let us be mindful that despite our suffering, we will be carried forward into eternal life.