Jesus, speaking to the crowd in today’s gospel reading (Lk 21:12-19), starts with the bad news for those who follow Him: seizure, persecution, hatred, maybe even death awaits them. Sometimes this will even come from those closest to us: family and friends. The good news comes in the last sentence: “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (v. 19)
What to do when defending oneself is what is Jesus tells His hearers in the headline. Do we have faith enough in Christ to believe this when our time of trial comes? Do we know Him well enough to give a powerful defense of our faith and a moving personal witness that cannot be resisted or refuted (which, by the way, does not mean that we will be listened to — it may simply serve to harden hearts and increase our persecutors’ vindictiveness toward us)? Is our hope so strong that if the worst comes — and the time will come when we can no longer sit on the fence — we are confident that our lives will ultimately be secured even if they are lost here?
Let us pray that all Christians will remain steadfast in the Faith despite persecution.