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. (Lk 21:12-15)
Jesus addressed a very real fear that His followers had: the fear of rejection, the fear of persecution, the fear of being put to death.
Fear often immobilizes people.
When it does, we generally do one of two things: we freeze and say nothing or we babble like idiots (and end up saying nothing important).
Jesus wants us to know that there is a third option.
That option is to trust in Him.
When we find ourselves trapped in situations that are highly stressful and lead us to fear, if we trust in Him, He will give us His words to speak.
In my thirty-three years as a priest, I have seen this happen over and over again. I have seen it happen with other people and I have experienced it myself. I have seen it in hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice units when people did not know what to say to a terribly ill person, a person who was dying, or the family of someone who had just died. When words were hard to find, people experienced themselves saying things that they never would have thought to say and those words brought great healing and comfort.
I know how hard it is to give everything over to the Lord but, if we do, He really does come through.
FAITH ACTION: Do you find yourself with your back against the wall at home or at work in regards to the faith? Trust that the Lord will give you the words that you need to speak.