2 May

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”  (Mt 10:22)

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Athanasius who lived in the early 300s.

He was most noted for his constant struggle with the Arian heresy — a teaching that denied the divinity of Jesus.  As a bishop of Alexandria, he found that the task of defending the divinity of the Lord was an arduous one.  Oftentimes, he ended up living in exile.  Yet, he remained firm in his convictions and strong in his teaching.

Jesus said it best when He told His Apostles that they would be hated by all on account of His name.

The world, steeped in sin, rejected Jesus and His teachings, ultimately nailing Him to the cross.

The world, still this day steeped in sin, continues to reject Jesus and His teachings.  Anyone who dares to speak the name of Jesus or to spread His teachings is in danger of being shunned, outcast, or persecuted.

The world does not want to hear about the Lord.  It wants the people to be duped into believing that there is nothing awaiting them, that if they want reward and gratification, they best reach for it now because there is no such thing as a “later”.

However, we do believe in Jesus.  We believe in an afterlife.  We believe in a final judgment.  We believe that Jesus died to free us from sin and death.

If we believe all of that, we must embrace it and live it.

FAITH ACTION:  Has there been anything that you have quit doing because too many people ridiculed you for it?  What good deed has been left undone because you are afraid of persecution.  Be strong in the faith today.  It may not bring you an immediate reward; but, it will bring the Lord to a world that so desperately needs Him.