In the book of Acts we have been introduced to Paul, one of the indisputable heroes of the faith.
What makes Paul a “hero” is his faithfulness to Jesus. It is the boldness of his witness. And in this we see something both of the depths of Paul’s love for Jesus and for the people Jesus died to save.
He thinks of them before he thinks of himself, which means that his faithfulness, his witness, and ultimately his love, often come at a very high price. As in today's reading, Paul suffers criticsim, hatred, persecution, and violence. Because of his faithfulness to Jesus, and the people Jesus loves, it seems like there are almost always people "trying to kill him."
Faithfulness to Jesus will also call us to make sacrifices as well. Perhaps it is the parent who is willing to be the parent God called them to be by disciplining a child even though the child hates them for it or simply calls them “mean”. Or the friend who speaks the truth in love or refuses to go along with the crowd even though they know their image might suffer in the opinion of others. Or…the devoted Christ follower who speaks out, loud and clear, about who Jesus is and ultimately what he requires.
Take your pick of these and a hundred more situations just like them. But if you do…well, like Paul, we had best be prepared for trouble!