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Matthew 10:16-23

 

Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. 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. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

 

Reflection

Whoever endures to the end will be saved. Salvation is not automatic, not even for the disciples. Jesus says to his Apostles on mission that they will be saved if they persevere.

Mission work can be dangerous and traumatic. Missionaries must anticipate trouble, even if they bring peace and salvation. They should brace themselves for unpleasant surprises. Not everyone is welcoming; some people may be antagonistic. The missionaries may be dismissed as nuisance, disturbing the peace. They may be harassed and brought to court.

Truly, Jesus is sending them like sheep in the midst of the wolves. So they must exercise utmost prudence and self-restraint. These are the best opportunities to give witness.

Since there is no time limit to persecution, one characteristic trait of missionaries is perseverance. They refuse to give up and stay in focus until the last breath. And when driven away, Jesus adds, missionaries should pack up and find another place to preach, not go home and find another job.

 

Jesus counts on the perseverance

of the missionaries.

Do you easily give up?

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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