May 16, Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter
Daily Readings: Acts 16:22-34; Gospel: John 16:5-11
That sounds lovely, doesn't it? Two apostles are praising God and singing hymns to him. It conjures up the image of a pair of eager saints surrounded by a softly glowing light, their eyes turned upward toward heaven.
But that's not what Luke is describing here. A mob had just attacked Paul and Silas and then "stripped" and "beaten with rods" by the city's magistrate (Acts 16:22-23). Now they are in prison with their feet "secured to a stake" (16:24). So maybe it's more accurate to imagine two men bent over in pain, bloodied and with fresh bruises swelling and turning purple as they offer their prayers in weak, raspy voices.
That makes this scene so powerful and a powerful lesson for us. It's easy to sing and praise the Lord when sitting peacefully at Mass or in your prayer corner at home. It's easy to drum up the faith to praise the Lord during a hectic workday. But when you've just been subjected to a brutal beating? That's something different!
Think of the kind of faith you would need to sing and praise the Lord in such a challenging situation. A strong belief that is determined to worship the Lord in every case. A stubborn faith focused on the facts of God's saving love more than the convenience or inconvenience of circumstances. A trusting faith that believes in a God who will never leave his people alone, especially as they undergo trials.
It's hard to praise the Lord when facing a mountain of bills, enduring a longstanding illness, or picking up the pieces of a broken marriage. But hard doesn't mean impossible-or, even nearly impossible. Even if all you can manage is a tearful Our Father or a raspy-voiced "Amazing Grace," offer what you can to the Lord. He hears you and is holding you close to his heart. He treasures your faith, even if it seems weak to you. He will care for you.
"Lord, teach me how to praise you in good times and bad. May I never lose sight of your love and your glory!"
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.