Today’s Thoughts: “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” (Thomas Merton)
These few words from Thomas Merton might help us understand our readings especially our Gospel today. In today’s Gospel Jesus advises his disciples and anyone who will listen about false prophets and silver-tongued teachers. Jesus knows that external appearances and teachers can be deceiving. We are challenged each day to discern the true and often underlying meaning of many teachers of faith.
However, not all false prophets are religious. Much of the noise of information we are exposed to on a regular basis includes things that are false. We see get-rich-quick schemes that preach a gospel of stocks, bonds and real estate. There are all kinds of schemers out there, who will prey on the elderly and the less fortunate in society. We are called to practice active discernment as a habit of our spiritual life and not just in a religious context but in all parts of our life.
A second challenge by Jesus today is much harder to hear. He tells us that we are not promised a worry-free, easy life on earth. In fact, Jesus explicitly makes it clear that his disciples and us will be hated and persecuted—but those painful moments are wonderful opportunities for us to show our witness to the Gospel.
We who believe in and serve Christ in the world will inevitably face resistance, recrimination for our faith and even persecution. However, we are promised hope, strength and support from God in those moments—if we have the wisdom to trust in God. The Holy Spirit will carry us with God’s thoughts and words when on our own wisdom and effort is empty.
Jesus’ message today is that we can always be comforted by the fact that we are not pioneers, the first to encounter these struggles but we are followers and that God will hold us in his heart throughout our journey through this life.
Have a blessed Sunday everyone and don’t forget to give God a little time today.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...