Saturday, December 26, 2015

Reflection: Matthew 10:17-22

The Feast of St. Stephen – Matthew 10:17-22

The Gospel for this feast of St. Stephen radically opens with Jesus telling his disciples: “Beware!” What a contrast to the readings we heard on Christmas Day.   Today Jesus is warning His disciples that if they continue to follow Him, they will be handed over
to governors and kings.  They also will be hated.  However, if they remain faithful to Jesus to the end, they will be saved.

How do you think you would react if Jesus said this to you?  I suspect that I might quietly slip away from Jesus.  The price for being His disciple is much higher than I might expect it to be.  It seems so glorious when we first decide to follow Jesus.  He is so charismatic and inspiring. When Jesus speaks, his message comes straight from His heart.

The path of following Jesus is both gift and cross.  There are abundant gifts and blessings we receive when we walk with Jesus.   However, there also will be challenges and difficulties that we encounter if we choose to follow Jesus.  Today honestly ask yourself: What am I willing to risk?  What am I willing to endure for Jesus’ sake?  Am I truly ready to “give my all” to Jesus?  Be honest with yourself!

The gift is that no matter what you decide, Jesus will still walk by your side.  If we do choose to follow him, Jesus will give us with the grace and strength we need.  The decision is ours. Will I follow Him?  Will you follow Him?  

Today may we pray for each other that we will have the love, courage, and strength we need to follow Jesus every moment of every day.

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