Today’s Gospel: Luke 21: 12-19
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is preparing his disciples for the tough times ahead. He’s preparing them for the trials they’ll undergo after the Ascension. It won’t just be strangers who will be persecuting the disciples; it will even be their own families! Even though he’s warning them of what is to come, he’s also assuring them that he will be there to guide and protect them.
Jesus tells his disciples that they’re not to prepare beforehand for persecution. “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,” he says.
Can you imagine having trust that deep? Just think of having a tough conversation with a relative with whom you’ve been at odds. Most of us would feel nervous, anxious, and uncertain about what to say or how to go about having the conversation. Perhaps some of us avoid such conversations completely.
Now think about being put in front of a hostile panel of judges who are looking for the tiniest reason to kill you!
Wouldn’t you want to be well prepared for either situation?
Jesus tells us that when the time comes, we won’t have to be prepared because he’ll be right there to strengthen and guide us. He promises to give us a wisdom in speaking with which no one can argue. And who can argue with that?
How do I approach conflict? Do I face it with prayer and trust in God, or do I try to hide from it? Is there someone I admire for the way they handle tough conversations? Why do I admire him/her? How can I imitate him/her? What is one small step I can take in learning to trust Jesus completely?
Dear Jesus, I so often worry needlessly about what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it. That’s because I’m trusting in myself and not you. Please help me to let go of my own fears and hang-ups so that I’ll be ready and willing to say what you want me to say, when you want me to say it. Lord, grant me the grace to trust you completely even in the most difficult of situations. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Marge Fenelon