Courage Under Persecution

09 July 2011

Today’s Readings: Gn 49:29-33 / Mt. 10: 24-33

Persecutions of Christians in the New Testament era tended to be local and sporadic. The apostles suffered the fate of Jesus whose mission they continued. But through the ages death and persecutions have led to a more decisive witness of the kingdom of God.

In today’s Gospel, as believers we are reminded that the message of the kingdom is not always received with joy and openness. God’s word may evoke strong opposition even in societies where the Church has already taken roots. To this day, violence against Christians continues as the Church opposes tyranny and injustice.

But those face persecution may find comfort in the thought that our experience links us with Jesus whose cross we have taken up. Jesus calls us to be witnesses who remain faithful whatever the cost. Suffering is an unsuitable part of life. We have no choice about the matter but we have a choice about how we deal with it.

Loving Father, help us to bear the pain of suffering. Send us your Spirit that we may remain faithful, strong and steadfast in following your footsteps.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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