Luke’s gospel may make one think, “Hold on, I’m not sure this is what I want to be involved in.” As Ron Popeil, the famous infomercial salesman, always said, “…but wait, there’s more.” Jesus assures us, his followers – that we will secure our lives by our perseverance.
Life isn’t easy; it isn’t meant to be. Today, Jesus warns us about violence, trials, persecutions, and even death. That sums up the evening news of our present world, doesn’t it? Closer to home, within our neighborhoods, workplaces, social groups, and families, we are experiencing greater levels of persecution caused by differences of opinion on various topics, including practicing and living our faith.
Persecution and opposition are inevitable no matter how much we want to avoid them, but these make us stronger. Sometimes, the greatest gift we can be given is the most difficult because it helps develop this virtue of perseverance. If life were smooth and easy, we would not be equipped to handle the challenging times. Jesus not only shares with us a warning to be prepared but also promises to provide us the wisdom to speak when needed, and our lives will be secure.
Our task is to have faith and hope in our God and be ready for our opportunity to bear witness. This is one of the unexpected blessings of persecution – we have the strength to share our story with utter confidence, allowing God’s grace to do the talking. Be resolved not to worry but to trust. “By your perseverance, you will secure your lives.”
Dear Lord, as we bring this liturgical year to a close this week, let me focus on building my hope and trust in You. I’m asking you to give me the wisdom and words to persevere in your grace when needed. Amen.