When the Hour Shall Come
May 18, 2020
Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.
Opening Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. Heavenly Father, grant me the gift of courage and conviction for when the hour comes and my faith is tested.
1. You Shall Give Testimony: This age of divisive internet exchanges and hot-headed political conflict can intimidate persons of faith into disengagement from the culture. Bishop Barron gave some excellent advice about how to argue religion when he spoke in 2018 to Google and Facebook. As “ordinary” Catholics, we can follow his rules of engagement to address “hot button” topics so as to “give testimony.” However, the greatest testimony we can give is to live a holy life by being faithful to Christ in our thoughts, words, and actions, and make amends when we fail to cooperate with his grace.
2. Being Prepared: Our Lord prepared his disciples to suffer by telling them in advance so that they wouldn’t “fall away.” He prepares us for the big moments in our lives as well. Through the Sacrament of Ordination or Marriage, he gives us the grace we need to persevere in our vocational call. Through Reconciliation, he gives us the strength to withstand temptation. Through our faith community, he gives us the spiritual gifts of the whole church (healing, prophecy, etc.) to accompany us through hardships. In the Anointing of the Sick, Our Lord prepares us for our final journey home. In his mercy, Jesus prepares us with every spiritual gift to succeed in “winning the race and keeping the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
3. When the Hour Has Come: We Christians will face persecution. It may be in small, discreet ways such as being given sideways looks when we make the Sign of the Cross in public, walk around with ashes on our forehead, or wear a crucifix around our neck; or in larger confrontational ways when our beliefs are challenged at family gatherings or in the workplace. Jesus gave us fair warning. May we stand strong in our convictions not out of pride, but out of love for Jesus and this faith that he gave to us as a most precious gift.
Conversing with Christ: Dearest Jesus, faithful friend of my soul, grant me the courage to stand by my convictions as an act of love for you. May I lay my life down for you by dying to my pride, vanity, and desire for comfort and ease.
Resolution: For you Lord, today I will be alert to opportunities to stand by my convictions with love and out of love for you.