A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

You will be hated by all because of my name

There was a time when many Christians thought that this prophecy spoken by our Lord in today’s Gospel (Luke 21:5-19) applied only to the prosecutions of ancient Rome or to the advent of the Antichrist and his/her über-Orwellian regime.

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...

What our Lord foretells, however, is not merely something from the ancient past, an apocalyptic future, a Communist dictatorship, or some “backward” culture.

Even now, in “civilized” lands, faithful Christians are attacked as being in the same boat as Osama Bin Laden, bishops and other Christian leaders are prosecuted for speaking the truth, and Christian institutions of charity and care are commanded by the government to commit immorality.

And this is just within the confines of Western Civilization. In other places, it is even worse.

You will be hated by all because of my name....

These challenges are very real and very present, but they are not so dramatic everywhere and so one must be very careful not to overreact.

Some Christians relish a bunker mentality and practically invite persecution (and indeed, from ancient Rome to 20th century Poland, the Church has in some ways thrived under persecution), but persecution also impedes the spreading of the Gospel and other Christian ministry.

We must remain faithful to the truth and fervent in proclaiming it with love.

Some Christians, on the other hand, shrink from any kind of opposition and even may succumb to the evil of the world because they do not want to stand out.

We all have our weaknesses, of course, and we all need God’s grace and forgiveness, but while Christ forgives the weaknesses we repent (even though we may fail and repent again), Christ also calls us to be strong and firm in the power of his grace.

For the sake of Christ, therefore, we need to stand strong, by the grace of Christ.

For the sake of our souls, we need to stand strong, by the grace of Christ.

For the sake of a world that seems increasingly overrun by selfishness and outright evil and even though that world may oppose and even persecute us yet still for the sake of the people of this world, we need to be strong in the truth and the goodness and the love and the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

No matter what.

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me - a sinner.