Jesus died for us – are we willing to do the same for him?

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28 November 2018

Jesus’ words today remind us that being persecuted for our faith is not a new reality.  It’s probably not surprising, considering that we follow a King who was crucified.

The fact that Jesus himself died for his faith, so to speak, gives us a deeper insight on what he has to say about persecution.  If this is his advice to us, it is probably also the wisdom that sustained him throughout his Passion.  Read, then, or heard in the light of Jesus’ own experience, his words today become more than just a grim reality-check about the cost of discipleship.  Rather, what we are hearing are words of life.

“Not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.”  Given the amount of martyrs that have blessed the Church and the world with the gift of their lives, it is obvious that Jesus is not promising here that we won’t be physically harmed if we stay faithful to him, but pointing to the greater reality of eternal life. 

And if this feels like a hard thing to hold onto in the face of adversity, it is also true that hanging on to the promise of resurrection was not easy for Jesus either.  We can see his own struggle reflected in his prayer at Gethsemane.  He has been this way before us, and his life, death and resurrection are the source of our hope and our inspiration to cling to faith and always choose love no matter what it costs.

Lord, thank you for what you did for us on the Cross.  Please help us to cling to you and witness faithfully to your love in all circumstances, even to death.

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