Meditation for the Day

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, November 25

May We Answer Our Lord’s Call to Be Living Witnesses Who Bear Testimony to the Joy and the Power of the Gospel Message, Even in the Midst of the Daily Challenges Which Shall Come Our Way As We Follow the Path Which Leads to Eternal Life.

In the midst of the trials and tribulations which each person endures in this life, in the midst of personal grief and sorrow, even in the midst of persecution which some of our Christian brothers and sisters in this world suffer, our Lord says to each one of us today, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

The Gospel message which we hear spoken throughout the year, and also the passages which we read personally, are referred to as the “Good News”. Then, why do so many people throughout the world, even in my own country of America, founded on the principles of religious freedom, oppose it intensely and, sometimes, even with violence? And Jesus warns His followers that they will be confronted with hostility, persecution, betrayal, even hatred.

The real enemy of the Good News of Jesus Christ is Satan, whom our Lord calls a “murderer” and “the father of lies” which we find in the Gospel of John. Satan uses fear and hatred to provoke hostility in others towards those who follow our Lord and His teachings of God’s Truth.

And what is Jesus’ response to this hostility and opposition? – love, truth and forgiveness. Only love can defeat prejudice, intolerance, hatred, and envy. God’s Love purifies our hearts and minds of all that would divide and bring out the worst in people.

God’s Truth is also essential for overcoming evil and tribulation in the world. Satan deceives and sin blinds the heart and mind with man-made truth – a truth which trivializes all that comes from the Divine. For it is only God’s Truth which can free us from error and spiritual blindness; it is only God’s Truth which can set us on the path to true freedom – freedom from the slavery of sin and moral corruption and all forms of relativism.

And forgiveness is that virtue which conforms us more to the Mind and Heart of Christ Himself, for it is forgiveness which emulates the merciful nature of God’s Love. The very act of forgiveness reminds us of our Lord’s own act of forgiving from the Cross all those who unjustly tried, convicted, brutalized and crucified Him, and who continue to do so even today!

In this time in which we live, when we find ourselves witnesses to the continual onslaught of hatred, mayhem, secularism and negative media attention that many faithful Christians experience in the various world cultures around the world, there comes a moment when we must ask ourselves the question –

“Where do I stand? Do I stand with Christ, no matter what it may entail? Or do I give in to the seductions of secularism and feel safe from persecution? Do I live God’s Truth, or do I live my own truth?”

In the end, it all boils down to a single question, “Whose voice do I listen to – Jesus’ or Satan’s?”

The Gospel truly is God’s word of truth and salvation. That is why Jesus tells His disciples to proclaim the Good News throughout the whole world, even in the midst of opposition and persecution. Our Lord tells His disciples that if they endure to the end, they will gain their lives – they will see God’s gift of salvation and inherit eternal life and happiness!

Spiritual, emotional and physical endurance are more than just human effort and individual perseverance. It is a supernatural gift of the Holy Spirit which enables each one of us to bear up under any trial or temptation, under any form of persecution. And endurance is strengthened with hope – the supernatural assurance that we will see God face-to-face and inherit all the promises He has given to us.

And for each of us, Jesus is our Supreme Model and Hero who endured the Cross for our sake, so that we may inherit eternal life with Him. In His Cross, our Lord gave us the true example of what it means to not only be a people of love, but also to be a people of truth and forgiveness, especially when we feel called to stand up for God’s Truth, especially when we feel called to endure our own crosses out of love for Him.

In today’s world, our Lord may call some of His children to be true martyrs for their faith. But for most of us, our call is to become living martyrs – living witnesses who bear testimony to the joy and the power of the Gospel message in the midst of daily challenges, in the midst of daily contradictions, temptations and adversities which will come our way as we follow the path which leads to the eternal reward which awaits those who follow and embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ.

May each one of us, both you and I, in the life of faith to which we give witness in our daily lives, always persevere – no matter how difficult our personal misfortunes or tribulations may become.

For, in the end, all the faithful who have survived through steadfast perseverance will sing out with one voice the words we find in the Book of Revelation –

“Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations.” Amen!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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.”  (Luke 21:16-19)
  • “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44bc)
  • “…if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” (1 Peter 2:20b-21)
  • “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
  • “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:16-17)
  • “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:11-12)
  • “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b)
  • “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
  • “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones.” (Ephesians 6:18)
  • “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)
  • “Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations.” (Revelation 15:3bc)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your Presence,
Your Love, and Your Strength.

“Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting Love and strengthening Power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us;
for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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