Testifying to the Good News


Luke 21:12-19
Dn 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28/ Dn 3

This will result in your giving testimony to them.
(Luke 21:13)

Be prepared for “persecution”
When we are called to testify
To the Good News of salvation,
By which our Lord we glorify.

“Before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your giving testimony to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.” (Luke 21:12-19)

Reflection

God allows that we go through trials and persecutions because He knows that these will lead us to give witness to our faith. The word “witness” is translated from the Greek word marturion, from which we get our English word “martyr”. The term means “he who serves as testimony or proof.” Thus, the early Christians were called martyrs not because of their persecution, but because of the testimony of their faith, for which they were willing to give up their lives. God allowed their trials to make them worthy of Himself, “As gold in the furnace, He proved them, and as sacrificial offerings He took them to Himself.” (Wisdom 3:6) It was Tertullian who said it so well: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the church.”

We are fortunate that we do not live during the age of Christian persecutions; nor in the present time when we have to prove our faith as other Christians do in places like Saudi Arabia or China, where the practice of one’s religion is strictly prohibited or regulated. But wherever we are, we are still called to give witness to our Lord Jesus, especially during times of personal turmoil, grief, or financial crisis. It is in times of extreme duress or distress that true faith emerges.

All of us are called to give witness, or to share our life testimony about God’s miracle in our lives, especially those who are in the renewal. Many regard this as the modern version of the Christian persecution, because the greatest fear of most people is to stand at the podium in front of an audience. It will do them well to heed the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel: “I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” (Lk.21:15) Yes, as we have heard in many a sharing, it is the Holy Spirit that speaks through us; we have nothing to fear.

Father God, in times when we are put to the test on account of Your Name, grant us the grace to be bold in our ministry. Renew our spirit that we might bring glory and honor to You. We pray for all those Christians who are suffering persecution and death for the sake of the Gospel. Empower them with Your Holy Spirit to persevere in their faith. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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