DISCOVER TODAY: We can reveal Jesus to others by persistently giving them his love through our actions.
Good News Reflection for:
Wednesday of the 34th Week of Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Columban, Abbot
November 23, 2022
Dear Lord, give me the grace of a strong conviction in my faith, so that in my hardships I can discover Your loving hand that holds everything. Amen.
Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
Ps 98:1-3, 7-9
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
Blessed are the persecuted
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says to his disciples (including you and me), “People will persecute you, so get used to it, accept it, and remember that by persevering — with me at your side — your eternal life in the glory of heaven is secure.”
He said we’d be summoned into synagogues, which in Jesus’ day was like being sent to the principal’s office in grade school. (Yeah, the little kid in us can identify with that!)
Perhaps you’ve been called into your employer’s office after praying with co-workers. Or maybe your job has been threatened because you refuse to cooperate with illegal and immoral business activities.
Perhaps people have ranted and raged at you and insulted you because you spoke up against abortion or same sex marriages. Or you’ve had to endure someone’s efforts to set you “straight” about their misconceptions of Catholic beliefs. I’ve been told: “Stop writing all this misleading stuff about some dead guy named Jesus. I have been trying to un-brainwash my friend who reads your reflections.”
People persecute us because they don’t understand. Repeat what Jesus prayed as he hung on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Whether they were taught to believe the deceptions or they have consciously chosen to reject the truth, we must continue to love them. We cannot change their minds by arguing with them, but we can reveal Jesus to them by persistently giving them his love through our actions.
When it’s time to back up our actions with Holy Spirit-inspired words, we are not to worry. If we are called into the office (or whatever our “synagogue” is) on account of our Christianity, we first forgive and then we open our mouths, relying on the Holy Spirit to give us wise and caring words that our adversaries cannot contradict. Oh, they might persist in disagreeing with us, just as the scribes and Pharisees did with Jesus. To the ears of non-Christians, it might even sound like they’re defeating us, but they cannot change the truth no matter how hard they try.
Truth is the hardest substance in the universe. It’s unchangeable, undentable, unbreakable. As the truth comes out of our mouths and the contrasting misinterpretation of the truth comes out of our adversaries, anyone who is genuinely seeking to know the truth will experience enlightenment.
Persecutors remind us that we are doing the Lord’s work. When we are not persecuted, it’s because we’re living such a watered-down version of the faith that no one around us feels challenged by the truth.
For more on the topic of this subject, use our WordByte, “‘Be not afraid’ to speak the truth” @ wordbytes.org/holyspirit/be-not-afraid-to-speak-the-truth/.
© 2022 by Terry A. Modica
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