Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:35-38

“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” These words spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ about 2,000 years ago are all too relevant for many believers in the world today. Would I be able to stand firm for Jesus Christ in the face of persecution? The Prophets, Apostles, early church, and many saints for the last 2,000 years have suffered for their faith. “Every day,” says Father Joseph Bature Fidelis, of the Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria “Our brothers and sisters are slaughtered in the streets.”

In the book “To the Martyrs: A Reflection on the Supreme Christian Witness”, Martyrdom is the supreme testimony. Their death is a proclamation, even when the victim utters no audible words at the end. In martyrdom, the servant willingly identifies with the Master and consents to die the same sort of death as the Master died, suffering the same injustice and humiliation – and gaining the same reward. In the first Christian generation, the Apostles saw their suffering as a sharing in the cup of the new covenant in Christ’s blood.

‘Thus, persecution’, Pope Francis said, “is the daily bread of the Church”. There are two types of Christian persecution, the Pope said. There are the explicit kind and the sort of persecution that is polite, disguised as culture, modernity and progress, and which ends up taking away man’s freedom and even the right to conscientious objection. But in the very suffering of persecution, Pope Francis recalled, Christians know that the Lord is always at their side. You can recognize “when someone is persecuted not for confessing Christ’s name, but for wanting to demonstrate the values of the Son of God”. Thus, “if you don’t do this, you will be punished: you’ll lose your job and many other things, or you’ll be set aside”.

When last did it cost you something significant to follow our Lord Jesus Christ? Child of God, let us asked the Lord for “the grace to understand that a Christian’s path must always persevere amidst both kinds of persecution.

MASS: RED ST. JOSAPHAT, B.M (MEMORIAL) Philemon 1:7-20; Ps 146:6c-7.8-9a.9bc-10(R.5a); Accl Jn 15:5; Gospel Lk 17:20-25

Prayer Points:

1. Thank God for His Word today

2. Pray that we would treasure our Lord Jesus Christ more than life itself

3. Pray that our unshakable joy in Christ would be a witness to our persecutors.

4. Pray that our future glory would overshadow our present afflictions

5. Pray that we would trust in God’s wisdom, strength, and deliverance

6. Pray that God would give us the right words to say as fearless ambassadors for Christ.

Exercise: Take the Litany of Humility by Rafael Cardinal Merry Del Val in DSD Manual Chapter Five

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Meditation: Matthew 5:11-12