‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that the end of days will not be easy – trials, pain, stress, betrayal, adversity, chaos. However, Jesus also tells us that we should not prepare our defenses, nor should we despair, but rather we are to persevere, to endure. “The end,” be it the end of a day, month, or year, can be wrought with frenzied urgency, stress, and anxiety. There are 35 days left in 2019. For many of us, this time of the year can be a decathlon of sorts – working, decorating, baking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, hosting, socializing, packing, traveling (repeat). While the “end of the year” is not the “end of days,” Jesus reminds us that the graces for which we should pray remain the same – perseverance and endurance. Over the next 35 days, when you feel yourself submitting to the “tyranny of the immediate” or descending into the chaos, take a moment to pause, breathe, and pray for the grace to endure.
—Jackie Schulte is the Dean of Faculty Formation and a history teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE.
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cares for you today
will take care of you tomorrow and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering,
or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then.
Put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually:
“The Lord is my strength and my shield.
My heart has trusted in Him and I am helped.
He is not only with me but in me,
and I in Him.”
—Adapted from St. Francis de SalesPlease share the Good Word with your friends!