As Catholics, we believe that opposite things don’t necessarily cancel each other out. For instance, we believe, as our first reading today illustrates, that we can have joy in the midst of sorrow. The early Community found themselves severely persecuted. Saul, for whom God had future plans, was currently doing his best to destroy the Christian Way, and he was not alone. Many suffered and died as St. Stephen did in yesterday’s reading, and others were exiled from their homes. But even in the midst of that, St. Philip was doing Christ’s work quite successfully in Samaria. There was great joy in that city. To some, that would seem so contradictory and out-of-whack. But for us, we know that this is how life is. There is sadness, and there is joy, and all of it is a gift in some way. Even today, some of us may have sadness, and others joy. May we experience it with peace as the early Community did.
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