Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Seducers are more dangerous enemies to the church than persecutors."

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – St Matthew (Born 1stCentury: also known as Saint Matthew and as Levi) was, according to the Christian Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists.)

Gospel Text: (LK 21:5-11)
While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, "All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

Then they asked him,
"Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered,
"See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
'I am he,' and 'The time has come.'
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them,
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky."

Today's chaotic world mirrors Jesus' ominous predictions. Persecution, distrust and hate proliferate among peoples and nations. We live in confusion and uncertainty. Justice and equality are at risk among so many.

But we trust in Jesus' words as his followers have done so through two millennia. We continue to look for opportunities to bear witness and stand for truth. We continue to trust in Christ's promise and support.

How strong is our faith in Christ? Are we firm in believing in his promise of redemption despite so many trials and dark times? Are we able to persevere through adversity to find ourselves?

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