Today’s Gospel: John 15:26—16:4A
Jesus made it clear from the start: following Him isn’t for sissies or cowards. In today’s reading, which is part of the run-up to His arrest, He is blunt about the persecution His friends will suffer. But He also promises them help from the Holy Spirit.
We live in a world where demented zealots who deride, torture, and kill Christians truly do believe these acts are a form of worship. Most of us hear about them in the news, and offer prayers for their victims and their victims’ families, but are unlikely to encounter them personally. But we do have acquaintances, friends, even family members who attempt to “kill” us by luring us into smaller offenses that have the potential to grow into larger separations from the Lord. We’re told it won’t hurt us “just this once” to skip Mass, gossip about a fellow parishioner, or let a service opportunity go by unmet. And they’re right; displeasing God once doesn’t condemn us forever. But it does begin to put distance between us and Him, distance that can lead to sloth and even spiritual death. May we resolve, then, to be with the Lord every step of our day…so that we can be with him at the end.
Where is a well-meaning friend encouraging you in a seemingly innocuous activity that puts your spiritual health at risk?
Lord, hold me tight and never leave my side even as others try to drive a wedge between us.
Copyright 2017 Melanie Rigney
Melanie Rigney can’t stop talking — or writing — about the women saints and how they bless us today. She is the author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith and Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration. She is also a regular contributor to Living Faith. Learn more about her at melanierigney.com.