Posted by

Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD June 25, 2023

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A

In this Sunday gospel, Jesus declares: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” When he talked of persecutions, he was referring to the many trials his disciples had suffered at the hands of the Jews and the Romans in proclaiming his teachings.

Today, the persecutions are no longer happening what Jesus experienced then. Now there are hostile, totalitarian non-Christian countries who oppose the Christian beliefs and even forbid their presence.

* * *

Other forms of persecutions are likewise happening in our Christian country. For instance, there are denominations that attack and criticize the doctrines and practices of others. They find fault in Catholics as idolaters, claiming that they are “worshipping” the images and statues of saints. For the record, Catholics are not idolaters. They are not adoring the pictures or wooden statues but rather the holy persons that are represented.

* * *

There are those in parish organizations and religious communities who quit or “lie low” because they had been unjustly treated or hurt by a criticism or a nasty remark. They surely have good reason to do it. However, a steadfast faith should help them recover and not isolate themselves for good.

Other forms of persecution may be suffering from a strict and overbearing spouse or being ridiculed because he or she is actively serving the church.

* * *

Ask yourself: When there are trials and persecutions, do you think of giving up or hold on in faith? Do you believe that true discipleship entails following Christ who says: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you”?

* * *

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote about his three years in Nazi concentration camps. Even in that extreme situation where prisoners survive on meager ration, Frankl recalled, there were “men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.

Subjected to hunger and physical deprivations, these inmates could have become selfish, grasping but they opted instead to share the little that they had. “Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul,” our Lord teaches in this Sunday gospel (Matthew 10,28).

THOUGHT TO PONDER. A group of religious pilgrims had attended a Mass in a side chapel in Jerusalem. One of them wanted to confess to the chaplain.

“Father, may I confess? “Son, not now, there are many people around; they are watching us!” But you said in your homily: “He who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge him before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others I will deny him before my heavenly Father.”

One comment

Leave a Reply