Gospel: Mt 10:16-23
Look, I send you out like sheep among wolves. You must be as clever as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard with people, for they will hand you over to their courts, and they will flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought to trial before rulers and kings because of me, so that you may witness to them and the pagans. But when you are arrested, do not worry about what you are to say, or how you are to say it; when the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father, speaking through you. Brother will hand over his brother to death, and a father his child; children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, you will not have passed through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Whoever stands firm to the end will be saved Jesus forewarns his disciples of being persecuted on account of him. He assures them though of the presence of the Holy Spirit that will empower them to speak the truth and remain faithful to him. Most likely, Matthew the evangelist wrote this passage in order to strengthen his fledging Christian community that was being persecuted by the Roman Empire. He recalled the words of Jesus and crafted words consistent with his person and message in order to comfort the persecuted Christians and at the same time assure them of the Risen Lord’s presence among them.
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