Friday, July 11, 2014

“Persecution is an enemy the Church has met and mastered many times. Indifference could prove to be a far more dangerous foe.”

"Many people [in authority] oppose us, persecute us, and would like even to destroy us, but we must be patient. As long as their commands are not against our conscience, let us obey them, but when the case is otherwise, let us uphold the rights of God and of the Church, for those are superior to all earthly authority." – St John Bosco

Gospel Text: (MT 10:16-23)
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But 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.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.”

Today, the Gospel emphasizes the troubles and contradictions we Christians have to suffer because of Christ and his Gospel, and how we must stand firm and persevere to the end. Jesus promised us: «I am with you always, until the end of the age» (Mt 28:20); but He did not promise his disciples an easy journey; on the contrary, He told them: «Everyone will hate you because of me» (Mt 10:22).

However, we still live in this world and not somewhere else; we do not give up our earthly citizenship when we are baptized nor do we deny our honest contribution to sustain and improve our world; our civic duties are also Christian duties. Jesus said that his followers are “in the world, but do not belong to the world” (cf. Jn 17:14-15).

In our everyday lives we often are in situations calling us to speak for the glory of God, whether the circumstances demand that we confront forces of evil with our words, express our compassion to those who suffer, or respond to others in any moment moving us to bear witness to the love and wisdom of God. In order to do this we must trust that the Holy Spirit will speak through us and accomplish what God wants accomplished.

We need always to remember that we are in fact joined to Christ – in whatever or wherever the situation. We are his Mystical Body and are fed at his Eucharistic feast. In, with, and through Christ, we will always want what God wants. To the extent our driving motive is to do God’s will, it is precisely in these situations that we, as promised, will be guided by the Holy Spirit. And in that disposition, we will respond to the Lord’s comforting demand, “Do not worry . . . For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

No comments:

Post a Comment