Everything will be all right in the end. Whoever endures to the end will be saved.

‘I am sending you out like sheep among the wolves.’

Jesus made it quite clear that following Him was not going to be easy: ‘You will be universally hated on account of my name.’ The disciples must have noticed how Jesus was treated by the scribes and teachers of their community. These so-called leaders weren’t moved by His words or actions, as the crowds who followed Him were. Instead they reviled and criticized Him and plotted to kill Him.

All the readings today talk about how God takes care of His people. In the first reading the people decide it does no good to pray to false idols because they don’t do any good, but God listens to His people and takes care of them. When they call, He hears and answers; so in the psalm the people sing praises to God who hears them and helps them.

But in this Gospel, it doesn’t seem like it’s that easy. Jesus says that people will be persecuted for their beliefs. Their own families will turn against them and hand them over to death and imprisonment. But what about the God who hears His people and cares for them? How can this happen that God’s people will be harmed for their belief in God? Jesus says we should still sing God’s praises. We should still have faith and belief in God who takes care of us. When we get to trial, God will put the words in our mouths that will save us. And if not, well, we will have our relief in the next world. If we get to the end of our lives with our faith intact, we have a reward on the other side. God does hear us. God does care for us.

“You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved”

Anyone of sound mind and in touch with world events will conclude that something is amiss with humanity. We needn’t ask why the senseless killings, destructive addictions, jealousies, and hatreds are continually being “acted out.” The reality of sin and our need for a Savior are obvious, yet thousands of years of mayhem still find us in denial, still seeking human solutions to the sickness within our hearts. There is but one message in all of Scripture — God’s undying love, a tender, merciful love that is never forced upon us. Those accepting His love He rescues from their catastrophic stupidities, cleanses them, heals their wounds, imbues them with His truth and love.

Those living in Christ are disciples, called to share Him with others, a dangerous task; for unregenerate minds and hearts, mired in self and knowing nothing of God’s love, despise being shown their wrongs, fear losing autonomy or forfeiting worldly pleasures. Those bearing the light of truth to the unsaved will incite their murderous rage.nWhat impels generation after generation to share the good news, to risk martyrdom? It is the love of Christ infused in true believers that impels them to seek populating His kingdom. Will we accept the call to its citizenship? Jesus promised the disciples that the Spirit would be with them forever and if they stood firm they would be saved. This is what he tells us as he sends us out each day. He asks us to reach out to the lost sheep in our lives and communities and to offer healing, peace and love. Let us give thanks and be glad that we hear it today

“Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.” Here on earth, it sometimes seems that everything is not all right. And we might wonder about God who hears our prayers and takes care of us. Where is He when these horrible things happen? Where is He when, as Jesus says, family members turn against each other and people are persecuted for their faith? But everything will be all right in the end. Whoever endures to the end will be saved.


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