“Therefore do not be afraid of them.”

Jesus continues to prepare His apostles for their mission (Mt 10:24-33).  He warns them of the evil names they will be called considering they follow Him who has been called the devil.  But they should not be afraid.  All will come to light.  They are to proclaim the gospel to all without inhibition.  If they are killed for doing so, they need not fear death in the Lord who will acknowledge them before the Father; to be feared is death apart from the Lord in which case they will be denied before the Father and will consign themselves to eternal destruction.  Who causes us to fear on this earth?  Are we quiet when it comes to the gospel or in the face of evil because we feel incompetent to do so, might offend someone, become ostracized, or worse?  Remember that we have the Word on our side: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16; see also 1 Thess 5:14).  Read, study, pray, and live the Bible.  Learn what the Church teaches.  Then teaching, refutation, and correction (always in love — cf. Eph 4:15) will flow naturally.  This does not mean one has to be perfectly knowledgeable or impeccable to be a witness.  God knows the apostles weren’t.  But being grounded in the truth and having a sure source for that truth (the Church) we can go out in confidence.  Pray that we be open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we become better, more effective, and more faithful witnesses (i.e., martyrs).

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