“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.
When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
This Gospel reminds me of a story a priest friend of mine once related. On vacation, on the beach, he was approached by some Christian evangelizers who were unaware of his vocation. They asked him if he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; his response? “Unfortunately, yes.” His wry comment reflects Jesus’ clear point that the Christian life is not an easy choice. Jesus is very clear that what his father values is radically different than what the world values.
We live in a broken world where goodness and faith are often unrewarded. Christ is warning his disciples and us that betrayal and pain are real, as real as Christ’s own Passion and death. The Resurrection, however, is a greater reality than the darkness of the world.
—Jerry Skoch is a Spiritual Director and Vice President & Chief Mission Officer at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH.
Dear Lord, I know that this pilgrimage has moments of suffering. Please give me the wisdom and courage to suffer for you and your kingdom rather than suffering as a result of my own sinful choices.
—Jerry SkochPlease share the Good Word with your friends!