Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 26
that will not be known.
Christ’s message here is to have courage under persecution. Yes, if they killed Christ what will they do to us. Look at what is going on in the Middle East, there is no doubt it will be here but Christ reassures us to do not be afraid.
In today’s first reading (Acts 8:1-8) we see that there was a severe persecution of the followers of Christ in Jerusalem promulgated by Saul; who by the grace of God was converted and became the apostle to the gentiles Paul. We must not give up hope and we must pray for our persecutors; perhaps Christ will send us another Paul.
Therefore do not be afraid for everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, and Christ has told us the He will raise us on the last day. (John 6:40)
This month Pope Francis asks us to pray that our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord. Though physically distant from us, they are spiritually close. Suffering because they are Christians, they have a special place in the Heart of Jesus, and, if we are united to that Heart, they will have a special place in our hearts as well.
Pope Francis believes persecution should bring Christians of all denominations together. “The blood of Jesus,” he said, “poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided. We are one in their eyes! For persecutors we are Christians! This is the ecumenism of blood that we experience today.”
May our prayerful solidarity with persecuted Christians help them know they are not alone nor abandoned. May it help to bring us together as the One Body of Christ.