Today’s Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22 – St. Stephen
On this Feast of St. Stephen the Protomartyr we interrupt the romantic narrative of Christmastide by pausing to remember what it takes to be a follower of Christ.
In today’s Gospel, we are reminded that being a disciple of Jesus comes with the likelihood of persecution. In our daily lives we may find ourselves the butt of a joke because of our faith, discriminated against in the work place for our beliefs, or viewed with suspicion by our neighbours. We may find it hard to fit into our modern society that so frequently rejects the ideals that Christ taught us to uphold. When we open our mouths to protest His truth we may face ridicule and hatred. Too often we hear of our Christian brothers and sisters paying the ultimate sacrifice and losing their lives for their witness to Christ. What happened Christians in the earliest days happens to Christians today; it happened to St. Stephen, to Blessed Oscar Romero, to Fr. Jacques Hamel.
As disciples of Christ, we will be challenged, ridiculed and scorned; but we will also be admired, we will inspire and we will bring people to God – our efforts will not be in vain. Find comfort and strength in the certainty that in our times of trial and persecution, what we are to say and do will be given to us; the Spirit of our Father will be speaking and acting in us.
Do I ever avoid moments of possible evangelisation because I’m worried that I might be struck down, rejected or mocked by others?
Lord, help me to have the courage to stand firm until the end. May I always be a faithful witness to Your truth. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Claire Howell
I’m Claire, I’m 29 and I live in Scotland. I’m a teacher of Religious Education in a Roman Catholic secondary school and get to spread the Gospel daily to 12-18 year olds.
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