Today’s Gospel: Luke 21:12-19
Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
Jesus concludes what is overall a very challenging teaching with some very hopeful words when he proclaims, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” After having taught those listening to him that they will be subjected to great trials, he teaches them the key to enduring the suffering to come.
I have run a few marathons in my life. And while I would never compare the run/walking of 26.2 miles to the persecution and martyrdom of the apostles, those races taught me important lessons about the role of perseverance in attaining a goal. What begins with enthusiasm and hope soon falls prey to the temptation to quit when pain and suffering kick in. How much easier it would be to simply stop, to quit the race, and to leave the running to more qualified bodies. Having persevered, how sweet is the sight of the finish line, regardless of how long it has taken you to get there!
Surely there were many times when Jesus’s followers wanted to quit, to walk away and leave the hard work of evangelism to others who were wiser, more holy, better able to withstand the persecution. Yet they persevered and the faith they taught has been passed down through the centuries to us today.
The next time I want to quit this “race”, proclaiming that the pain is too great, I will remember those words, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
I want to secure that life forever with God in heaven. I pray for the grace and strength to persevere.
Have you ever been persecuted because of your faith in Jesus? How did you manage to persevere?
Lord Jesus, you have given us the gifts we need to sustain the great challenges that come with being your follower. Help us to persevere in faith and love, until we rest in the sweet embrace of your arms at the end of this time of struggle and persecution.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey