Friday, July 13, 2018

"Persecution has never hurt the church … only prosperity.

The proclamation of Jesus is not a veneer: the proclamation of Jesus goes straight to the bones, heart, goes deep within and change us. And the spirit of the world does not tolerate it, will not tolerate it, and therefore, there is persecution.- Pope Francis

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.”

We are called by God in many ways. But often God calls us to something not so easy, something with many challenges and difficulties. There are times others may not understand what we are doing and what motives we may have for what we are doing. As in the time of Jesus when so many refused to believe in him and hated him and in the end, even had him sentenced to death on the cross, the following of Jesus will have its heavy costs on us.

In the Gospel reading Jesus warns us his followers of these dangers and difficulties: "I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. Be on your guard with respect to people, for they will hand you over to their courts and they will flog you in their synagogues."

Jesus also assures us of triumph because of his love and protection: "Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved."

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