Since readings from the Book of Acts figure very prominently in the liturgy during Easter season, I think it might be helpful to take a few minutes to reflect on something that it very real today: persecution.
Much of what happens in Acts revolves around persecution of the early Church. According to ancient legend, all of the apostles aside from John the Evangelist died as martyrs. It wasn’t easy to be in Christian in the first century.
Being a Christian isn’t always easy today, either. Many people simply reject the message out of hand. They may or may not launch opposition against it in some form. When Christians have lead the way in opposition to tyranical regimes or in the abolitionist, Civil Rights and other movements, there has been serious opposition, even coming from others who profess Christ.
Most people living in the US and other parts of the world will never see the type of persecution that people in many nations experience on a daily basis. We should be thankful for religious freedom but never forget that not everyone has that type of liberty.
May we always remember our sisters and brothers in Christ who struggle to be able to express their faith without fear of being harmed, imprisoned or silenced.