During this entire last week of the liturgical year, scripture often presents us with strange and frightening images. For example, in the Gospel Jesus speaks of persecution and imprisonment, betrayal by family and friends, and even hatred because of our faith. Is this a time of surrender, panic, disorientation, and confusion? What should be our attitude in face of these many difficulties?
The last verse of the Gospel (v 19) provides a most helpful guideline. Jesus assures his disciples, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” We should understand this as assuring us that through our simple daily living of our faith we will ultimately be victorious. In his Gaudete et Exsultate (n 7) Pope Francis speaks of the “holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church.”
Yes, we are saved from undue anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for Christ’s final coming.
Gospel • LUKE 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.