Posted by: frburke23 | November 27, 2012

Thought for Wednesday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time

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.”

======================================

Jesus tells us in the Gospel today that His followers will suffer and be persecuted on account of His name.  Some people have joked that Jesus was a terrible marketing director:  “Follow me and you will be persecuted and brought to trial.”  Who would sign up for this?

But Jesus also says, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” 

We have become so politically correct in this country that we are afraid to even mention the name of Jesus in any public arena.  It has become so ridiculous in some instances.  We are called to be tolerant of others’ beliefs, yet when it comes to tolerance of Christians, often there is none.  That is a double standard.  It now seems to be in vogue to tear apart Christianity and Catholicism in the public arena.

It is a good thing that the Apostles were not afraid to say the name of Jesus.  Despite being beaten, publicly humiliated, they continued to spread the Gospel, even to their last drop of blood.  All but St. John (who died of old age) died a martyr’s death.  St. Paul was beaten, jailed and left for dead a few times.   Yet nothing slowed him down.

I am not saying that we should hit the street corners tomorrow, nor should we convert by the sword.  What I am saying is that we should not be ashamed to be Christians.  Maybe offending someone with the name of Jesus Christ is not so bad.  Jesus did tell us, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”

I was so disappointed at what happened at Thanksgiving.  It is no longer just black Friday, but now stores opened Thursday evening.  So not only were people shopping on Thursday when they should have been at home with family, but others had to work in order to take care of those who were shopping.  People were punching each other trying to get to the smart phones. 

What have we become?

Where is Jesus in all of this?

Are these things that we buy truly going to make our lives better?

Or are we seeking only the fulfillment that only Jesus can give us in the material things?

Jesus told us that following Him would not be easy.  He mentioned something about carrying our cross and suffering persecution.  The Apostles rejoiced when they were persecuted for Jesus’ sake. 

Am I going to take a stand or just get swept away by the culture?

Do we trust the Lord enough to suffer for Him?  Do we believe that He will give us the words to speak when needed?  We have to do our part to prepare for the test by praying, studying and getting to know the Lord personally.  He will give us the strength to endure any trial that comes our way.

Christians make up about 80% of our country, but where are our voices?

What is my fear if I speak out?

Have a blessed day!  Do not be afraid!

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com


Responses

  1. We were disappointed too….Keep strong Fr. Burke! We have to keep persevering. A few years back….this will always stick with me. At one of our parishes we are given a priest from Africa we went to Thanksgiving mass there….Disappointment was filled in his heart too…..The church was pretty empty. His first words to start out was, “What isn’t anybody THANKFUL?

    Keep letting your voice and words to us be seen and heard.

    God Bless!
    Rhonda

  2. Are we living for God or living for “self”? It boils down to this during the holidays or any time:

  3. Hi, Fr. Burke. I too am disappointed in what “holidays” have become – no longer are they holy days. You are absolutely right about being prayerful, studying His word, and growing deeper in the Lord. Thank you for your sadness and perhaps anger at how things have turned because what you feel is correct. Thank you even more for your words of encouragement.


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