Monday, April 29, 2013
Herod’s Persecution of the Christians
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (12:1-10):
About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.) He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf.
On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him.
We had another fine sunny day yesterday Sunday. It seems we will have a whole week of sunshine now.
Below you will find the message of Our Lord, the Son of God, given to Father Melvin. Jesus spoke to him these words,
“Give thanks to the Father, My brother Melvin and all My brothers and sisters who have accepted Me as your Savior. As I was persecuted, so My followers too will be persecuted at times. You read what King Herod did to the Apostles. He killed Saint James and had Saint Peter arrested to be put on trial. Prayers are powerful because it was the prayers of the members of the Church that prompted Me to send the angel to rescue Saint Peter from the hands of the soldiers and King Herod. While the soldiers were all sleeping, the angel went inside the prison and woke up Saint Peter. He told him to dress and to follow him. All the chains fell and the doors opened and he was led outside by the angel. He was freed once more to do the work I gave him to do.
“When any member of the Church is persecuted or accused, I call you all to pray for that person that he or she might be freed. Pray too that the person has the strength to withstand any accusation or any punishment given to him or her. Like Saint Peter, that person could be freed by My great power. I am always there ready to help anyone who is in need, if he or she turns to Me. I love you all.”