Announcing the Good News

Friends in Christ,
in the Acts of the Apostles, we read today of what it is like to be a Christian in a pagan society. Peter and John were mocked by the Sanhedrin as being unlearned and ignorant men.
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The Christian today also, is often put down in a similar way; Catholics are accused of not being ‘with the times;’ we are accused of not being ‘enlightened,’ as the world suddenly is. Freedom, for the world, is to do anything you want; but we teach freedom in Christ, by living his Law, and we are called ‘backward, old-fashion, out of date.’
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The Sanhedrin, having ridiculed Peter and John for their beliefs, moved on to the next step: threats. In our times, we have seen what happens to a pizzeria that said they would not make pizzas for a so-called gay wedding. They received death threats and an on-line hate campaign against them, simply by standing for their Faith. We’ve seen how Hobby Lobby and the Catholic Church had to go to court against our own government, in order to practice their Christian faith. Or the attempt in 2005 by the Illinois governor to force pharmacists to provide abortion-causing Plan B drugs against their conscience. Not to mention the many in the middle east who are killed for their belief in Jesus.
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But these are only the high-profile cases. One of our students has told me how her teacher at our own public high school, finds many ways to distort and ridicule the Catholic religion. It is blatant anti-Catholicism.
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But no matter what people say to us, or how much pressure they put on us, we still have the same undeniable fact that Peter and John had before the Sanhedrin: God has visited his people; Jesus has come to teach us the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and he has risen from the dead so that we can too.
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The voice of the world around us is getting stronger; it says what the Sanhedrin said: ‘And they charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.’ But before his Ascension, Christ said, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature’ So we do.
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The world wants to shut us up. They do not wish to hear the name of Jesus, they do not want to hear about the way of life that leads to heaven. Nevertheless, like the Apostles, we calmly reply: ‘We cannot help but speak, of what we have seen and heard.’

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