“They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, ‘It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.'”
After several weeks, it appears that the restrictions imposed on us due to COVID-19 are coming to an end. Now we are faced with difficult questions as to what life after quarantine will be like. Can we really go back to the way things were before this pandemic? For many people, there is a sincere desire to return to those ways because they were comfortable and familiar. However, as stated in this passage from the Acts of the Apostles, it is necessary to go through hardships in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells His disciples that He will be leaving them but that they should not be afraid. He called them to go and spread the good news. In much the same way, we are now being called to the same mission. We will be released from isolation to go back into the world, which will no doubt be filled with great fear. We will be faced with new trials and uncertain approaches to interact with our communities. There will also be a powerful opportunity to show the world how mighty our Lord is. “The world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me” (John 14:31). The Lord has given us a chance to revitalize this world, and thanks to our time in isolation, we are equipped with the armor of God. The harvest is more plentiful than ever, and God needs more laborers! The world does not need to be convinced of our faith but to truly witness our faith. Through our example of hope, others will see the face of God and believe.