“Let us not forget: we are a pilgrim church, subject to misunderstanding, to persecution, but a church that walks serene, because it bears the force of love.” ― Archbishop Oscar A. Romero (1917 – 1980) The Violence of Love
Gospel Text: (MT 10:17-22)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
Jesus cautions us to “beware of men.” Other humans will persecute you for your faith and this does not exclude close relatives. Most people who convert to following Christ as an adult or who grow up in the faith but get serious about it as an adult have experienced this. Close friends, family members, or colleagues wonder what has happened to us and they react. Perhaps the reaction comes in the form of snarky comments or an unspoken exclusion or parents who assure you that they are praying that you will see the light and return from the error of your ways. This is certainly not death by stoning but it can take its toll. Jesus assures us that “whoever endures to the end will be saved.” Living for Christ is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.