Jesus said to his Apostles: "No disciple is
above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is
enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master. If
they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how
much more those of his household! Therefore do not be
afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be
revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I
say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do
not be afraid of those who kill the body but
cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one
who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are
not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not
one of them falls to the ground without your Father´s
knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than
many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will
acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before
others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the one
constant in my life. You are my beginning and my
end. I love you as my savior. I trust you
as my closest companion. I hope in you as the
one who will welcome me into eternal joy.
Petition: Grant me, Lord, the courage to
face persecutions, great and small, for the faith.
1. Forewarned is Forearmed: Jesus´ opponents called
him a devil. Either ignorance or hardness of heart prevented
them from seeing the good in Our Lord. Opposition to
him continues to this day — only now, we receive
the brunt of the attacks. Christ warns that his followers
will be reviled, just as he was denounced. Hence, it´s
no surprise that we are labeled "backward" for our pro-life
stance, or "intolerant" because we believe in moral truths. Persecution
underscores the authenticity of our faith. If we never face
any opposition, we might not be living the faith well
enough or publicly enough. How do I handle persecution for
2. What is
True is Always True: Nothing is concealed that will not
be revealed. Here, Our Lord assures us that all will
be revealed in due time. Lies and fallacies move at
the speed of light, thanks to the Internet. Truth seems
to travel a lot slower. The problem isn´t new. “For
the time will come," St. Paul warned in 2 Timothy
4:3-4, "when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following
their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and
will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted
to myths." Whether it´s the truth about marriage or the
dignity of the human embryo, the truth will emerge in
the public mind, eventually. Likewise, the truth of Christ has
to take root in us if we are to have
joy and a sense of meaning. The unhappiest moments of
life occur when we stray from Christ´s path. Which vice
most needs to be weeded out of my life?
3. Intolerable Tolerance: If we deny
Christ, he will deny us at Judgment Day. That´s a
sobering thought. So many times the temptation arises to muffle
our faith, to give into human respect and keep silent
in the face of evil. It can take many forms.
We stay mum when a relative brags about moving in
with her boyfriend. We say nothing when a fellow Catholic
matter-of-factly defends abortion or contraception. Or we as parents fail
to intervene when a child spends hours alone on the
Internet. All this silence and inaction we chalk up to
"tolerance." But Christ didn´t tell his disciples to "Go, be
tolerant of all things." Rather, he implored: "Go and make
disciples of all nations." Have I kept silent about something
when I should have spoken up?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, following you isn´t easy. Attacks
can come on all sides: from family, friends, the media.
I almost wish Christianity was easier, but then, it wasn´t
easy for you, either. So help me avoid complaining. Grant
me strength to be daring for you.
Resolution: I will raise a delicate point with
someone who needs to hear my Christian witness.