Fr Joe has written this short reflection on the Gospel for today.
“Remember, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” Jesus gives a stark warning to His apostles about the difficulties of fidelity to Him and the Gospel that they are to proclaim. They will encounter indifference and at times grave opposition. The Gospel will be divisive, as it will not always be accepted and welcomed by the world. There will be persecutions, mistreatment, imprisonment, banishment and exile and many martyrs.
However, despite the human experience of rejection and even death, the Holy Spirit will orchestrate how we respond. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit and we are to depend on Him about how we are to speak and what we are to say. The martyrs of the Church were testament to this. They spoke with eloquent wisdom, far beyond their age and education. They would not compromise with the world no matter the threats and how out of sync they were with the fashion of their times. They preached as St Paul said “in season and out of season”.
As Christians we follow Jesus and not the latest novelty. Jesus’ word, His sacred voice is eternal and is objective truth, as opposed to the herd’s subjective opinions. Jesus’s words in Holy Scripture were not temporary and given only for a particular people and time but are for all peoples and all ages. God’s words are eternal. Fads come and go. Jesus said at the Ascension “I am with you always, to the end of the time”
Pope St. Clement I (35 AD- 99 AD)
“This world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy.”
St. Thomas More (1478- 1535)
“Either Christ has a Church in the world continually and until the end of the world, or else He has a Church sometimes, and sometimes not at all. Could we think that He had a Church while He was here Himself, and perhaps awhile after, but mysteriously none since? No, that can in no way be, since He must necessarily still preserve His Church somewhere; otherwise, how could He be with His followers continually until the end of the world?”