When doing good hurts

THE advice of St. Peter to new converts to Christianity in the Second Reading this Sunday, 1 Peter 3:15-18, resonate with many us: “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that that is the will of God, than doing evil.”

Truly, many of us have experienced misunderstanding, persecution, and calumny for doing something that is worthwhile.  Many of us have been victims of accusations and gossips, for fulfilling the will of God. This connects with the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

A lot of the “good” things that we do are not even for our own benefits but for those of others, yet some people still think ill of us.

But shall we stop doing what is right just because of others’ wrong perceptions? Shall we stop serving God or helping others? Surely, our answer is no.  In regards to this matter, St. Peter advises in this Sunday’s Second Reading,  “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear….”

We don’t have full control of other people’s thoughts; all that we could do is to rely on our consciences.  We can’t please everyone; all that we should do is to please God. In the end, as we always say, the truth will set us free.

Our Lord Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel, John 14:15-21, also encourages us to keep fulfilling his commandments. He also reminds us that we have an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, for following the will of his Father. He will never leave us alone; he will always be on our side to keep us strong and faithful to the Gospel. He says, “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 

Yes, we need to hear these uplifting words of Jesus that he has given us the Holy Spirit to defend us from all evil and harm. For we can be fainthearted when troubles and accusations come. We must always remain resolute and peaceful in our decisions as long as we do it for the love of God.

We do not only have God with us, we also have our loved ones other people on our side who believe in us and encourage us to keep accomplishing good works.

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Reverend Rodel G. Balagtas attended St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California and earned his Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri.  For twenty years, he has been in the parish ministry of large multi-cultural communities.  Since 2002, he has been the pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Los Angeles. Please email Fr. Rodel at [email protected].

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