Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, Strengthen me in moments of trial.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing His disciples for persecution.)
Jesus has just commissioned his apostles and sent them out to preach. He warns them of difficulties. Matthew’s Church also sent out missionaries who faced the same persecutions, both from Jews and Romans.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Beware of men. They will hand you over to courts, and they will scourge you in the synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings for my sake, so you can give testimony to them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not think about what you will say. The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.
Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father, his child. You shall be hated by all because of my name, but whoever perseveres to the end, shall be saved.
The disciple is not above his master. If they have called me Beelzebub, what will they call you?
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- When you turn to Jesus, many will oppose you.
- By this teaching, Jesus tries to prepare you for what you will face.
- God has a purpose for this opposition. You can explain to your persecutors what God has done to you.
- The Spirit will give you the words that touch hearts.
- So, rejoice. If they persecuted the Master, they will certainly persecute you.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, prepare me for the opposition I will meet in my devout life.
- Send me your Spirit so my opponents can be won over.
- Teach me the costs of discipleship. I will pay any price.
- When the opposition continues, let me stand firm.
- What more could I ask for? You invite me to suffer persecution with you.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will try to explain my conversion to all who question me.
- If they do not understand, I will be patient.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.