May 4, 2021
Each day, I reflect upon a word or phrase from the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)
ENTER THE KINGDOM: The message of Easter is one of joy. The primary Gospel of Easter is that of John, which reiterates the unconditional love God has for us and the need for us to love God and one another.
We certainly do not want to lose sight of this joyful message, but today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles reminds us that we will face hardships along the way.
The challenges we face come in many forms: The actions of others that cause us emotional pain, physical suffering, our own lapses in faith, or countless other hardships.
The key to surviving these hardships is not allowing the door to close on Jesus Christ.
Our door is wide open when things are going well, but tends to close slightly with each challenge we face. We must not allow it to completely close. This may mean forcing ourselves to be more deliberate in our faith lives – praying when we don’t feel prayerful, showing gratitude when we aren’t feeling all that grateful, and counting our blessings when they seem few and far between.
This deliberateness may buy some time, allowing Jesus to push open the door a bit further.
It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God, but it is worth it!