The daily Mass readings of the last several weeks have really made me sit up and take notice more so than usual. Last week, the Church gave us the readings from the prophet Amos, and this week we are hearing from Hosea (one of my favorites).
These two prophets, as well as all the others, were sent by God to warn sinful individuals and nations.
However, today as I was reading the Gospel from Matthew, I felt like I was being given instructions. Jesus was speaking to me as well as all the others who are striving to stand in the breach~ those that are sometimes referred to as the remnant.
When Jesus first spoke these words over two thousand years ago, He knew what His Apostles and disciples would face after His Ascension. Jesus also knew, what those who remained faithful to Him and His teachings, would face down through the ages.
We who follow and live the Gospel are like the Apostles~ sheep sent out in the midst of wolves.
Don't believe me? Just try speaking about Jesus, or His teachings to a nonbeliever, or one who has fallen away from his faith. If you are not met with outright ridicule, you may get a long list of relativist excuses for why they don't see Jesus' teachings as relevant or necessary. But you need not go that far~just turn on the news or pick up a newspaper.
Elisabeth Leseur once made this comment in her writings: "The suffering sent by God that I offer to Him is the fact that among all the friends surrounding me, I have no one to whom I can totally open my heart... who might understand and help me." (from Magnificat's Meditation of the Day)The rest of the reflection goes on to say how she puts her trust in God and that He is the one to whom she can always pour out her heart and soul.
The same is true for us. Like Elisabeth Leseur who lived at the end of the 19th century into the early twentieth, we living in the twenty first century will suffer some sort of persecution if we live true to the Gospel, but we can always be assured of our hope in Christ and the eternal reward He will bestow upon us if we remain faithful to Him.
We are living in dangerous times. Our country as well as others are becoming more Godless by the day.
Be part of the remnant and have no fear, for the Holy Spirit will tell us what we should say and when we should say it. Jesus is on our side and and any suffering or persecution we endure for His sake and because of His Holy Name can be offered up and united to His sufferings. That, my friends, can save more souls than we may ever know.