Discipleship and Persecution


Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday Of The Fifth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 10:17-22

Jesus gives the disciples a gist of the consequences they would face for following him and preparing them of the life when Jesus will not be physically present with them.  Discipleship is not easy but at the same time not difficult with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus tells them even when they are brought before the authorities, either in synagogues or palaces, never miss an opportunity to testify without worrying about what is to be spoken.  He says the spirit of the Father will put in the right words in their mouth. God has always helped the kings, prophets and judges in the past.  In Jeremiah 1:9 God tells him that he will put his words in Jeremiah’s mouth, when he asks God how he will speak to the authorities as he was just a youth.

The worst that would happen is that in some families not all the members will believe in Jesus, hence there would be divisions and differences within the families to the extend that one would put the other to death.  We see this happening in some religions even today.  And all who believe in Jesus would be hated.  Jesus promises all those who remain with the Lord till the end will be saved.  Saved from eternal fire and given eternal life.

These instructions given by Jesus to the disciples then while he was earth, even hold good today for us.  We need to be fearless and open our mouth when we are persecuted for following Jesus.  And just because we are being persecuted, we should not stop worshipping our Lord.  Many Christians in our neighbouring countries are facing such trails and they are being martyred.  Some leave their faith for the fear of death, but many accept even death willingly.  This is also happening in our own country in some parts and we need to be ready to face such situations.  Remember Jesus is spiritually with us and the Holy Spirit guides us.  We need to do our homework well.  Read and study the bible daily and have fruitful relationship with our Lord.  This will give us the confidence to speak freely and bring people to the faith.

Let us also keep the religious and evangelists in our daily prayers as they are the ones who face persecutions while they work in the vineyard of our Lord.

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