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Wednesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
“But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you will be handed over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name—and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated universally on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me final perseverance.
1. Before All This Happens: Jesus warns that there is something more important to consider than the end-times. In other words, we are to concern ourselves with the present moment. There are trials and opportunities to attend to now. St. Teresa of Avila offers us a prayer for today:
Let nothing trouble you,
Let nothing frighten you,
God does not change,
Patience overcomes everything.
Whoever loves God, lacks nothing.
God alone is all we need.
2. Make Up Your Minds: Jesus gives interesting advice for how to live in the present moment. “Make up your mind to not prepare your defense.” We are to acknowledge that the spiritual life is a battle between good and evil. And we trust Jesus for our defense—for everything we need to give an authentic witness to our faith. Our faith is lived out moment-by-moment as we remind ourselves continually that Jesus is completely trustworthy.
3. Not a Hair Will Be Lost: We might lose our heads for the faith, but “not a hair will be lost.” This signifies that divine providence will be at work always for those who are steadfast in the faith. When we live in the present as a child of God, trusting in the goodness of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, we receive what we most need—the light of eternal salvation. Thus Jesus says, “Your perseverance will win you your lives.” Our present actions, dispositions, and choices have consequences. To live one’s faith now prepares us for eternal life with Jesus.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, increase my faith and trust in you. You guide me by your providential hand. You send your Spirit to give me the words and the courage that I need to be a light in this world. Help me to persevere to the end with great and surrendered faith.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on my daily perseverance in faith and resolve to renew one daily activity that will strengthen my faith in you.
For Further Reflection: Perseverance Produces Character.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”