The WORD in Other Words by Fr Deva Savariyappan SVD (Philippines)
Friday 14th Week in Ordinary Time
On April 9, 2017, Palm Sunday, 29 Coptic Christians were killed in a powerful bomb blast in Cairo, Egypt. In Alexadaria, 18 more Christians were killed. Last Baster Sunday, 69 Christians were killed in a bomb blast in a Pakistan park.
Exposure to dangers and persecutions of Christ‘s followers, which the Lord talks about in the gospel, go unabated in places like Iraq, Nigeria and so on. Amidst many dangers, troubles and persecutions, Christ‘s followers have kept their faith. The Lord invites us to have such faith, and to be the living witnesses to what St. Paul says in Rom 8,35: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword?”
As we face our daily trials our assurance is that He is with us always. In Ex 10, 2 He assures Moses: “I will certainly be with you.” In Jer 1, 7—8 He says: “Do not be afraid of them for I am with you and will rescue you.” And in Mt 28, 19 the Lord utters: “And surely I am with you always to the very end of age.”
A fine example of endurance in faith is St. Arnold Janssen, Founder of the Society of the Divine Word. Many didn‘t think that he was the right person for the task. But Arnold simply replied: ” The Lord challenges our faith to do something new…” (From Janssen Spirituality Centre).
Let us offer this prayer by Fr. Adonis Narcelles, SVD, to St. Arnold Janssen: “You have faced the challenge of founding the first mission house in Germany amidst many difficulties. Help us to persevere in our calling to be a missionary to the world by bringing Jesus to others.”