Today’s Gospel: John 3:31-36 – Memorial of St. Athanasius
Things have gotten real. Jesus is warning His beloved friends, His most trusted companions, that they will suffer for His sake. They’ll not only be hated, but will be on the run, fleeing from one town to the next. That’s how intense the reaction to their message will be. He’s even advising them, in advance, to just move on the moment they are not well-received. Time is of the essence, so make haste while there’s still time. The Son of Man will return, He says, before all have been warned.
I have been on the receiving end of some fierce criticism for praying in front of our state’s only abortion facility, along with writing about faith for our city’s daily newspaper. It wasn’t like this in the beginning, but as I’ve become more dedicated to my efforts to reach the women in need, and grown bolder in my writing, I have discovered that being on Christ’s side means attracting a fair amount of “haters.”
Initially, I wasn’t sure whether I could bear it, but over time, the power of prayer – and the urgency I feel in trying to continue spreading the good news while I still can – has emboldened me to stay the course. Despite occasional outbursts from those who refuse to see the goodness of what I’ve come to share, God has given me the grace to be courageous and steadfast, and I am ever committed to acting in His name. As the world loses sight of Christ, my heart burns even more with a desire to draw people to him, even if it means not all will like me. Knowing Jesus will come soon to redeem the world makes this hard work possible and gives me the stamina necessary to endure to the end.
When have you been hated by those who’ve misunderstood the good news you’ve tried to bring to light? How have God or others encouraged you onward?
Lord, given the world around me, some days it is very hard to remain a faithful Christian, and yet I want to please You, and I know it will be worth it. Please give me the grace to endure to the end.
Copyright 2019 Roxane Salonen
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