"They will manhandle and persecute you." —Luke 21:12
Jesus tells us we will be delivered up even by our parents, brothers, relatives, and friends (Lk 21:16). This will result in some of us being put to death. Jesus has made it very clear that, before there can be peace, there will be division in families. "A household of five will be divided three against two and two against three; father will be split against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law" (Lk 12:52-53).
Our families will be under extreme pressure in the future and severely tried. Jesus reveals the future not to discourage us but to encourage us to plan accordingly in the present. For example, if we were building a car and we knew this car would be driven through a crossfire of bullets, we would build an armored car. So, if we're building a family and we know this family will be attacked by the devil, then we will build an "armored family." "Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil" (Eph 6:11). "You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day" (Eph 6:13). On Thanksgiving Day, many of us will be gathering with our families. We can engage in superficialities, keep quiet about Jesus, and pray by ourselves. Or we can ask the Spirit to work through us in building strong, deeply committed, holy families. Would you talk to your family differently if you knew they might betray you?
Prayer: Father, send the Spirit to give me a realistic view of my family's future. May I build my family for the future spiritual warfare.
Promise: "I then saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire. On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast." —Rv 15:2
Praise: St. Anthony Peter Dich, a farmer who sowed in the seed-ground of the Spirit (Gal 6:8), was beheaded for sheltering Fr. James Nam and now rejoices in God's heavenly Kingdom.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004