Hopefully, you can take a break from all the election related news and meditate on this Sunday’s Gospel. It’s a long one so I’m just pasting the part I want to focus on in this post.
“Before all this happens, however,
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.”
This Gospel reading focuses on the importance of having faith by putting your life entirely in God’s hands. We all too often think that we can manage our lives on own without help from anyone, including God. When faced with challenges, many of us have a tendency to try to fight it on our own because we would think of ourselves as weak by admitting that we need help. Or we will think that we somehow cheated by receiving assistance.
Jesus tells us not to be foolish. God offers us not only His assistance but is willing to take the entire burden if only we let Him. Jesus told his disciples to not prepare a defense for He would provide wisdom. That promise is not just true for times of persecution, but for all our challenges, big and small, we encounter daily.
So many of us only tentatively accept God’s help and usually only on our terms. We tend to treat God’s help as a last resort. We come to Him in prayer when all else seems to have failed. This creates a manager/employee relationship where we falsely take the role of manager and God exists to take direction from us. The Gospel tells us that we need to put God 100% in control of our lives. Any other amount shows arrogance on our part believing that we can manage our lives any better than God can.
When I think about the power of faith, the Fifth Luminous Mystery of the rosary comes to mind. Jesus asks us to have incredible faith in His presence in the Eucharist. He asks us to put away that idea that what we see, smell, feel, and taste is not a piece of bread but is entirely Him! That is a tall order and similar to the amount of faith He asked of His disciples to let Him guide them when faced with challenges and persecution.
When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, we should remember that all things good come from God. A reading from the Book of Wisdom reminds us of that fact:
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
If God wants nothing but the best for you, do you have enough faith to yield to His Will 100%? Or are you holding anything back? Jesus tells us he will take care of us. Is your faith strong enough that you believe Him?