Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19 – St. John of the Cross
A fickle people: that’s what the people of Jesus’ time were, that’s what we are. The people of Jesus’ time used their judgments as an excuse not to listen, not to follow first John the Baptist and then later, Jesus.
We might say we are believers, followers, but what do we do when confronted with persecution, when things become a little too uncomfortable for our liking? Are we like those early Israelites, latching on any excuse to pull back, to give up? Do the words self-denial, mortification, discipline send chills down our spines as we run and hide?
St. John of the Cross truly exemplified his name. He bore a great cross, through persecution and even imprisonment for his beliefs. Never did he hide, but instead willingly accepted his persecution. Through persecution and imprisonment he never wavered from his belief that he would come through the darkness into God’s holy light, from agony to ecstasy. By dying to himself, by not judging or excusing, he came to life.
Most of us won’t experience the persecution that St. John of the Cross did, but that is no reason not to spend quiet time with God. Today’s world presents us with numerous challenges in our faith, from the physical persecution of Christians in the Middle East to the quieter psychological persecution in other countries. When faced with these challenges we must follow the example of St. John of the Cross and rise up to face our persecutors, to pray, to keep God always at our side and not let the evil sway us from our final destination with God in Heaven.
Am I a hider or confronter when persecution haunts me?
Holy Spirit imbue me with the strength to face those who confront me and not separate myself from God’s protection. Amen
Copyright 2018 Christina Weigand
Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of four as well as Nana to four. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania. She has published YA Fantasy novels and MG Fantasy novels along with a woman’s Bible study. Through her writing she strives to share the love and mercy God has for all His children.
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