Before all these things happen, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the synagogues and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.
So keep this in mind: do not worry in advance about what to say, for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. But even though, because of my name, you will be hated by everyone, not a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance you will save your souls.
The words of Jesus are clearly prophetic. In the history of the first evangelization of different countries and cultures normally we find martyrs. Remember: Jerusalem with Stephen, Rome with Peter and Paul, France with Irenaeus, Spain with Vincent, Germany with Boniface, the Czech Republic with Wenceslas, and Africa with Cyprian. And the same arrive in America – Canadian martyrs, in Africa – Uganda Martyrs – and in some countries of Asia: Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Philippines… Yes, when the Gospel arrives, the first generation becomes a living witness of Christ’s Passion. And always anew the words of Jesus become true: the wisdom of Christians in trials is irresistible.
Why does the name of Jesus provoke hate? Is the faith in Him a new mind and lifestyle that deeply shocks families and societies? Is the effusion of blood the sign of communion with the Cross? “There is not forgiveness without shedding of blood” (Heb 9:22). Will it be our vocation in the future?
Nevertheless, the Providence of the Father is absolute – not one hair of ours will perish – and our triumph shall be perseverance through his grace with much thanksgiving.
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