Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
'Worthy to Suffer?'
The Second Sunday after Easter
So they left...the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name.
This story in Acts stuns me. The apostles, refusing to stop their preaching and witnessing to Jesus, are thrown into prison. An angel frees them, and they go right back to the temple area and preach. Rearrested, they refuse again to stop and are flogged. They leave the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were found worthy to suffer.
Flogging was terribly painful. I absolutely quail at the idea of being flogged and then responding by rejoicing to be found worthy to suffer. Trying not to feel shame that I'm definitely not like those apostles, I think about what witnessing is to me: living the faithful, sacrificial love that Jesus taught, accepting arduous caregiving, practicing compassionate generosity.
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania,