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(Part 64)


July 10, 2015
Today’s gospel: Matthew 10:16-23

The work of evangelization brings us face-to-face with an unbelieving world with all of its secular humanist values, and also brings us eyeball-to-eyeball with the evil one, whose dominion we are trying to overturn. Satan of course is powerful, being a fallen angel, and the secular powers he utilizes, including world governments, are also very powerful. Thus we can expect to be oppressed and persecuted. “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves” (v.16a).

What can and will the enemy’s minions do to us?

  • “they will hand you over to courts” (v.17b). This is already happening. B&B owners and cake makers who do not want to cater to same-sex couples are being sued in courts, they lose, and they pay huge fines, crippling or even closing their businesses.
  • “you will be led before governors and kings” (v.18a). This is already happening. The courts are being used to overturn pro-life initiatives and amendments, and the US Supreme Court just legalized same-sex marriage. Expect more suits to try to bring committed Christians down.
  • “children will rise up against parents” (v.21b). Many children, brainwashed by the pro-gay, pro-hedonism, pro-abortion forces are disobeying their parents, and actually encouraged by secular powers not to listen to their parents, and do things like hiding their abortion from their parents. Active gays have turned against their traditional-minded parents.
  • “You will be hated by all because of my name” (v.22a). The world hates true Christians who live for Christ and the name their carry. They are regarded as homophobes and bigots.
  • “they will scourge you in their synagogues” (v.17c). The modernists are even within our Church. In America there are many pro-gay, pro-divorce and pro-abortion “Catholics.” They ostracize those faithful Catholics who dare speak the truth about human sexuality or the true beauty of Catholic marriage. Some dioceses exclude traditional priests from active parish ministry.
  • “Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.” (v.21). If you think all the above are already so bad, if you believe we have come to the worst with the legalization of same-sex marriage by the US Supreme Court, I am sorry, but think again. The real oppression and persecution is just starting. The aim of reproductive rights and gender ideologists is to destroy faith, family and life. They will not stop until Christianity is stamped out or rendered inutile, and the Catholic Church weakened or even destroyed. They are totalitarian and will use the greater powers they have to impose their ideologies and errors. Expect persecution. Be ready for martyrdom. And if you think your opponents’ being your child, sibling or parent will protect you, expect to be disappointed

What are we to do?

First, we should be “shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (v.16b). We are to fight back, but not in the unchristian ways of the other side. We should speak out the truth, we should stand our ground, we should marshall those who are on our side, we should educate the many, and so on. We are to use social media. We are to build up our own forces and confront them in various fora, in the courts, in schools, in the public square. We are to speak to clerics, religious and even bishops, given the chance, and point out their wayward ways. We are to hate the sin, but still love the sinner. We are to be pure in our intentions.

Second, “beware of people” (v.17a). Unfortunately, many people out there, including Catholics within our churches, chanceries and parishes, are for the other side. Many people, who in other ways are very nice and caring, are, when it comes to human sexuality and life issues, antagonistic to those who hold on to traditional views.

Third, whenever we are persecuted or brought before secular authorities, look on that as the opportunity not to be gagged but actually to be able to speak out. Be “a witness before them and the pagans.” (v.18b). By your loving but firm words, by your charitable actions, by your genuine love. This might be the only opportunity to educate them about what is right and true.

Fourth, have the confidence that as we truly strive to serve God and stand for Biblical truth, that God has our back. He watches over us. He provides what we need. “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (v.19-20). Wow. Possibly in that lowest point of your life, risking your personal well-being, you will become an even more special instrument of God!

Fifth, know and look to your eternal destiny and reward. We are passing through this vale of tears, but we look to our heavenly homeland. We will have to stand up for Jesus. We will have to fight for our faith up to the very end. Know that “whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (v.22b). The persecution is just for a brief time (could be years or decades) but eternal life is forever.

The war intensifies. We are actually losing ground to the enemy. But we just need to persist. If we are not making headway in this parish or public or city, then move to another. “When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.” (v.23a). Fleeing is not mainly to avoid the persecution, but is more to be able to do our work in perhaps a less hostile environment, so we can make some headway.

The task is urgent. There is much to be done. The whole world is in ever-deeper darkness. The tsunami of evil is overwhelming the world. Our Church is being weakened, helped by the enemies within. We are in the end times. I don’t think the world will be evangelized and people return to God before Jesus returns once again, but we need to do what we can do, to ensure that many more will be saved. “Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (v.23b).

Come, Lord Jesus. In the meantime, empower us with your Spirit to do our work.

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