In today’s Gospel Our Lord prepares us for when our faith is put on trial. It’s not some future eschatological and apocalyptic moment: even today Christians are ridiculed, labelled, even beheaded for professing their faith. Our Lord said we’d be a sign of contradiction in the world, so it’s no surprise that when we give witness to him there’ll be a reaction. It may not be a civil court, but it may be our family, the public square, our school, or our place of work. It’s what makes us think twice before saying grace at meals around those we don’t know well, about putting a crucifix or holy card in our cubicle or dorm where others might see, about seeing our faith as something, alongside politics, that should not be brought up in polite conversation.
Our Lord gives us the secret to breaking this little internal stalemate between a desire to share our faith and a fear of how it will turn out: trusting in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit does the talking, if we are living a life that is attentive to the Spirit. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll show how little of our faith we really know and live: that’s the Spirit talking in us to work on our prayer life, examine our lifestyle, and read the Catechism a little each day to understand our faith more clearly. You may find that puts you “on trial” before your family, friends, and colleagues, but it also gives you the spiritual resources to give witness to Our Lord and a great peace knowing you’ve suffered something for the sake of his name.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to day to help us see where and how we’re being put “on trial,” and for the insight and grace to give good testimony.
Readings: Daniel 5:1–6, 13–14, 16–17, 23–28; Daniel 3:62–67; Luke 21:12–19.