The Reality of Persecution
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.
The readings today bring us to the reality of persecution—both for our Jewish ancestors and for our own lives as followers of Jesus—and the proper response to them.
How does one respond to someone who displays murderous hatred towards you and your family? Or, less dramatically, to someone who shows you disrespect, rudeness, or gossips about you?
For us as Christians, as disciples of Jesus, our response should be rooted in one fundamental reality: the resurrection.
With the resurrection in mind
What does the resurrection have to do with facing down murderous mobs or angry coworkers? The resurrection is the central Christian belief that teaches us that, no matter what people might do to us in this life, we are destined to be resurrected from the dead.
As the young man says to the wicked king today in Maccabees:
“I will receive these limbs again!”
So in the end, truly, no man has power over us if we are disciples of Jesus. There is nothing they can do to us, so then we must live our faith boldly and joyfully in the midst of this hurting age.
The world needs our witness, our words and actions. The world needs saints, men and women transformed by the love of Jesus to be set ablaze.
This week let’s strive to live even the most difficult of circumstances or relationships with the resurrection in mind. Through Christ we will always be victorious!