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)
From the moment we first begin to interact with our world as little babies, we want to be accepted and loved.
We spend a great deal of our time and energy avoiding anything that is negative. When people hate us, we cringe.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus informed his following that they were not going to be liked. On the contrary, they would be hated.
Because of the hatred of the world, the followers of the Lord would be brought into courts to testify about their belief.
Jesus told the crowds to trust not in themselves, but in God.
Even if things looked bleak, even if family members handed them over, even if they were going to face death, Jesus encouraged them to trust.
That was not a bad message then and it is not a bad message now.
We are up against a sinful world.
We are up against a world that has, by and large, rejected the Lord.
We are called to testify to the Lord by word and deed on a daily basis.
Sometimes, we feel as if we are losing the battle and we want to give up. We are tired of the fighting. We are worn down by the hate of the world.
Have courage. Hold firm. Jesus knows what He is doing.
FAITH ACTION: Say a kind word to, do a kind deed for, someone today.