Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus does not play down the challenges facing a modern apostle carrying out the Lord’s work. His performance can be can be subtle, less dramatic than shedding his blood for the faith, like yesterday’s martyrs.
Opposition, even persecution can come from one’s family, his close friends; in the workplace, the classroom, the religious community. Jesus calls me to unite myself through prayer with those who are presently suffering such persecution. He also reveals the cause of such clawing torments: his name, his teaching. He tells me union with him entails being with him, for him, like him. It is the Eucharist that affects such a union with him and with those who suffer persecution for him.
He then gives some advice for those who have to put up with persecution: prudence, simplicity, perseverance. Such are the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Such are the gifts I should pray for, for myself and for others.