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The last verse of Hebrews Chapter twelve which is the conclusion of the exhortation we heard from today, says:
When you live for the Lord, it will mean opposition. You won’t be creating much of a fan club with popular society if you spend day after day speaking against abortion, no-fault divorce, sexual immorality, immigration reform, and all the other things our faith stands for that go against the grain of our society.
It may not get you physically thrown into a pit to be left for dead, as Hebrews tells us “You have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” (though this is true for far too many Christians today). But it will very easily get you thrown into other types of mud in what we call “smear campaigns” that can turn social media into a flash fire of hateful comments and writing people off. Sometimes it seems it’s just as evil today as it was for Jeremiah.
We should pray for courage as we follow our Crucified Lord on this campaign of Christian service, this revolution of love.
CCC1808 Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. Psalm 118 says "The Lord is my strength and my song."70 And Jesus tells us: "In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."71
We must keep our eyes on Christ as we follow in the faith that Abraham showed us in the reading from Hebrews last week. Jesus is the “author and perfector of our faith.” He is our guide who ignites our torches with the flame of love. May we embrace the division that Love brings, and through merciful forgiveness, absorb the pain, and bury it with Christ so that a new kingdom can be reborn.
John of the Cross: “Where you do not find love, put love, and then you will find it.”