“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.” ― Oscar A. Romero: 1917 – 1980: was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture amid a growing war between left-wing and right-wing forces. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence.
Gospel Text: (LK 21:12-19)
Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
Reflect, today, upon the invitation Jesus gives to us to live in perseverance. Often times, when perseverance is needed the most, we do not feel like persevering. We may, instead, feel like lashing out, fighting back and being angry. But when difficult opportunities present themselves to us, we are able to live this Gospel in a way we could have never lived it if all things in our lives were easy and comfortable. Sometimes the greatest gift we can be given is that which is most difficult, because it fosters this virtue of perseverance. If you find yourself in such a situation today, turn your eyes to hope and see any persecution as a call to greater virtue.