“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.” - Bishop Oscar Romero (He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture. Archbishop Romero was assassinated while offering Mass in 1980.)
Gospel Text: (MK 3:20-21)
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
Persecution could be losing a job because you won’t lie, cheat, or steal. I have friends whose values have been shaped by Christ; they have held to those values, and have been fired because of them. Persecution could be family or friends who reject you because you choose to follow Christ, or they make fun of you. I’ll reference the recent news. This too happened on Christmas day. The former quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow, was the subject of a profanity-laced rant by Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s show Real Time, all because of Tebow’s Christian faith.
Persecution is real. It happens. It happens today. It’s happening around us. Jesus told us we should expect it.
But remember this…………“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)