Being a Christian is not easy, since there are many things we believe in and practice which are in contrast with the ways of the world. When we persist in doing things which are in contrast with the ways of the world, even though what we are doing is right and just, we may face persecution, condemnation or even the possibility of death. What is even more painful is when those who are against us, or are persecuting us, are from our friends and families, who have chosen to conform to the ways of the world. As Christians, when we are faced with such persecution, what do we do and how should we respond?
In today's Gospel Jesus tells us: "Men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness... You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives." The key points we can gather from the Gospel is that we have an opportunity to bear witness as Christians, and that our endurance will win us our lives. May we not try to save our skin, give up or abandon our faith in the face of persecution, but remain steadfast and committed, knowing that God will be our help and guide.