Readings for Wednesday November 25, 2009
First Reading: Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Responsorial Psalm: Daniel 3:62
Gospel: Luke 21:12-19
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.” (Lk 21:12-19)
I have to admit, when I read passages like the one from today's gospel, regarding being handed over and put to death, it is a bit scary. Even though it is hard to imagine this, I do take comfort in Christ's words, "not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives." I am comforted by the fact that I can trust in God, and that I should not worry about what the world may do to me, but rather worry about a life without Him. And when we are faced with these trials, we should rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom and the guidance that we need.
It is not so much death that I fear, but rather leaving people and things behind. But then in these moments I quickly remember that I am really not losing anything, but rather I am gaining so much more.
The question is not "if" we will face trials and persecution, but rather the question is "when" will we face them. May we all be granted courage when faced with trials and persecution, and may we all rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us even when we are the most afraid.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to trust in you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Lord, give us the strength and courage to face whatever it is that you call us to. We pray for all of our priests and religious; may they be strengthened in their ministries and in their vows. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.