FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Wednesday 24 NOVEMBER 2021
Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke 21: 12-19)
How shall I live this Word?
Today Jesus announces to His disciples what their future will be. They will be persecuted, handed over, denied, betrayed. From who? From parents, siblings, relatives, friends. Each person could be the enemy to beware of. Whoever wants to serve the Lord must prepare for loneliness, abandonment, betrayal, denial, even death. All this Jesus communicates not to frighten us, not to torment us. History, starting with our little newspaper, is marked by a continuous struggle between good and evil. And we cannot avoid this; we are constantly called to take a stand and take sides. What also emerges from these apocalyptic pages is the exhortation to a great trust. Every event of our life becomes an occasion for entrusting ourselves to God, an occasion for a true witness to be given to the Grace and truth of Christ Jesus. Witness is the true way for the conversion of many hearts.
The disciples of Jesus are entirely in the hands of God and Lord. They can never be placed in human hands. With this faith, they will have to go through history. With this certainty they will have to realize and live this mission. Their life is in God and in no one else. The Lord will do with them what pleases Him. “Not even a hair of your head will perish.” This metaphorical expression wants to express the certainty that God always comes into the life of those who trust Him. There is nothing that can harm to the point of leaving no room for the profound and lasting action of the Lord of life. Thus, do not be afraid! If you remain faithful to listening to the Word, to adoring Christ in your heart, you cannot be afraid.
Today, in our contemplative pause, let all the waves of pessimism emerge even those from the media, social media, that go through my life. I ask the Holy Spirit to ‘filter’ everything through this Word of certainty and consolation.
Lord, even in the hardest trials, help me to remain grasping You. I am certain that you inspire my thoughts, words, gestures that really count. I know that You repeat to me, “I am with you” to save you!
The Voice of Cyril of Jerusalem, Church Father
Do you want to know how martyrs testify to the virtue of the Holy Spirit? Then listen to what the Savior says to His disciples, “When they drag you in front of the synagogues, the magistrates, and the authorities, do not think about how you will defend yourself or what you will to say, since the Holy Spirit will teach you, in that moment, what it will be necessary to speak “(Lk 12: 11-12). Indeed, it would be impossible to bear witness to Christ if we did not give it in the Holy Spirit. “
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