April 21, Friday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 5:34-42; John 6:1-15
Social media has made it possible for everyone to follow what interests them. Even animals have social media accounts where you can follow their latest shenanigans. Influencers will encourage you to like, share, and follow them. So what do you like about your favorite influencer? Do you share their content? Do you follow the trends or the so-called challenges they do?
But what happens when you follow them? Does it make you feel happy or sad? Does it encourage you to do good or make you hate society even more? Sometimes we are so obsessed with these social media personalities that we forget that we have a life of our own.
In the first reading, Gamaliel asked the Sanhedrin to stop their obsession with the apostles and to be careful. Have we ever asked ourselves if whatever or whomever it is we follow, online or otherwise, will bring good into our lives? Are we so obsessed with something or someone that it has blinded us, made us vengeful, or hurt ourselves and others?
The apostles were not only ordered to stop preaching but were also flogged. And getting beaten up is not a good thing; it is painful. But the apostles, instead of complaining, did not whine to God about it. Instead, they saw it as a humbling experience and continued proclaiming Christ. I am not saying we should get hurt in the name of God. But there are other ways we can feel uncomfortable if we decide to follow Christ. There’s rejection and shaming, which can also hurt.
In the gospel, a large crowd followed them, even if they had no packed lunch or water, because they wanted to listen to Jesus and, for some, be healed. And they were not disappointed. Jesus fed them all with only five loaves of bread and two fish from a little boy.
Following Jesus is not always a bed of roses. You will feel hurt, hungry, and thirsty, and yet, in the end, God provides, and God comforts you. He has always promised us that following Him will be rewarding, not just with food, drink, or material things, but with everlasting life with Him.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.