a sure thing and an unsure thing
"You will be hated by all on account of Me. But whoever holds out till the end will escape death." —Matthew 10:22
"Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12). The Lord has clearly revealed that we will be persecuted if we are trying to live the Christian life. For us, being persecuted is not a possibility but a certainty. The Lord has sent us as sheep among wolves (Mt 10:16), and, no matter how clever and innocent we may be, we will be persecuted. We do not know whether we will be persecuted by religious groups, governments, our families, or all of the above (see Mt 10:17ff), but we will definitely be given the privilege of being persecuted, if we faithfully follow Jesus.
Although persecution is certain, our faithfulness is uncertain. At the end of the world, the apostasy will become so bad (2 Thes 2:3) that we would all deny Christ if the Lord had not shortened the final days (Mk 13:20). We do not know whether we will stand up to persecution or fold under the pressure. All we know is that, if we are living for the Lord with all our hearts right now, we are doing the best we can to strengthen ourselves for even the most difficult future. Live in utter abandonment to God's will now. The future persecution will take care of itself (Mt 6:34).
Prayer: Father, may I love You so much that I desire to be martyred.
Promise: "Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and enjoy security. Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:3-4
Praise: St. Benedict was led out of the world as a hermit and then back to it to give it the Truth.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape The Remnant on audio AV 79-3 or video V-79.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002