In the Gospel today we are forewarned about the fate of believers. Christ goes through a rather apocalyptic vision for His followers; but He urges us to stay the course: ‘By your perseverance you will secure your lives.’ For us to realize the promised home we must bear witness to Christ no matter what; this is a hard task. But our witness is not without help; God himself will come to our side to strengthen us. Christ says in the Gospel today that: ‘I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.’ and that ‘not a hair on your head will be destroyed.’ He will watch over us. We have the power of the heavenly hosts, Saints praying for us; Angels by our side fighting the battle on the spiritual level.
Throughout this battle of life we have been called to be heralds, Gospel witnesses, not only by persevering in the faith but by doing it joyfully. And I suggest to you that this is not an added burden on our calling but the result of it; when we persevere through the trials of life and hold fast to the faith we can’t help but feel and radiate the joy it brings. When we embrace our encounter with Christ we are imbued with graces that cause us to rejoice – we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
But we can’t allow ourselves to turn inward with this gift, it must be turned outwards. Pope Francis warns us against this attitude, he calls those who turn inward towards the church ‘sacristy Christians’. Let’s not withdraw into our ecclesial chambers and share among ourselves this precious gift – let us go outward and offer it to the world who so desires this joy and peace. As this Year of Faith draws to a close let us not forget that one of the most important reasons it was called for was to build us up to participate in the New Evangelization – to go outward, to the fringes and share the joy by showing our peace that comes from Christ.