Posted by: frburke23 | January 31, 2013

Thought for Friday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 10:32-39

Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened,
you endured a great contest of suffering.
At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction;
at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated.
You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison
and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property,
knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence;
it will have great recompense.
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

For, after just a brief moment,
he who is to come shall come;
he shall not delay.
But my just one shall live by faith,
and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.

We are not among those who draw back and perish,
but among those who have faith and will possess life.

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

The message I take away from this reading today from the Book of Hebrews is hope and perseverance.  Many of the early Christians endured great trials and sufferings because of their faith.  They endured public exposure “to abuse and affliction”.  They accompanied others who were publicly humiliated or imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus.  Some had their property confiscated, but let it go joyfully as they kept their eyes focused on the prize of their eternal home.

What would I do today if I suffered public humiliation for my faith?

What if they took everything I owned away from me on account of my profession of faith in Jesus Christ?

Would I still remain strong in my convictions?

The author of Hebrews tells the early Christians and us today, “do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense.  You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” 

From where do I get my confidence?

Am I one that can endure trials and suffering while I focus on the eternal prize?

Or I am so focused on the things of the earth, I would betray my Lord in order to avoid suffering?

Jesus urges us to remain strong in faith. He will come and we will win the victory with Him if we keep the faith and do not lose hope.  There are many things going on this world today that can be a cause for despair.  We are tempted to lose hope.  But Jesus urges us on in faith, hope, trust and joy.  His recompense of eternal life awaits those who remain faithful.

Lord Jesus, help me to keep my eyes fixed on you at all times because you are the source of our hope.  When you went to pray in the garden, you asked your disciples to watch and pray.  And they fell asleep.  You ask us to watch and pray today, to keep hope amid the struggles around us.  And we fall asleep.  We lose hope.  In our weakness, we don’t want endure the sufferings for your sake.  Fill me with your grace to endure whatever trial may come my way.  I know that you are with me in the good times and in the bad times.  You never abandon me, but I lose sight of that at times.  I want to do your will.  I want to be able to walk on water, if that be your will.  I want to keep faith no matter what comes my way.  You Lord can do all of this if I but maintain faith and keep my eyes fixed on you.

Peace,

Fr. Burke


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