Saint Andrew Dung-Lac et companions | Wednesday 24 November 2021

Today is Wednesday the 24 November, the feast of Saints Andrew Dung-Lac et companions, in the 34th week of Ordinary time.

 

The Chamber Orchestra of London, directed by Alistair King play a setting of Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength:  a help in the trials that would crush us.  So we will not be afraid... when the earth heaves, and the mountains are thrown into the depths of the seas.  As you enter into prayer today, ask yourself what you are afraid of.  Can you hear the words of Jesus?  Do not be afraid.

 

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

 

Luke 21:12-19

 

“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.

 

Jesus knows that his message won’t be popular with everyone. So those he sends out to spread that message won’t always be popular either. What’s your first reaction to what he tells them here?

 

Do you have any experience of having to suffer for your faith, in big ways or small? What was that like?

 

It has been suggested that it is indifference, more than persecution, that is the challenge to many Christians today. It’s not that people will attack you if you try and live by and spread the word of God. It’s just that they won’t care, and so won’t listen. How do you deal with that indifference?

 

At the end of this passage Jesus calls his followers to endurance. Listen to the passage again in the light of that call.

 

Jesus promises to stand by his followers in their trials. Ask him now for whatever help you need in any difficulties you’re facing at this point in your life.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.