3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, Year I

In today’s First Reading the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that as Christians we have not only had moments of mistreatment due to our faith, but have witnessed the mistreatment of our brothers and sisters in the faith as well. Even today we witness countries where Christians are persecuted and deprived of their “property,” and suffer imprisonment due to the faith. We have to have spiritual solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters, even if that involves us being subjected to ridicule.

The unasked question behind these reflections is also, why is all this suffering necessary? Why should we have to suffer for being Christians? The answer is that if we suffer materially, we must not and should not suffer spiritually, because the spiritual benefits of our suffering will be a “better and lasting possession” if we persevere in hope. If, materially speaking, we’re comfortable, maybe, spiritually speaking, we should be concerned. Are we flying below the radar when it comes to giving witness to our faith and supporting our brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution?

Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us stand with our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for the faith so that we can all give witness to the priority of a “better and lasting possession” in our lives.

Readings: Hebrews 10:32–39; Psalm 37:3–6, 23–24, 39–40; Mark 4:26–34. See also 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday and 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B.