Jesus said to the crowd: "They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
There is a very basic element of our faith which is as simple as it is challenging to accept. Precisely that is why it is necessary to renew our faith in it frequently: Jesus is active in us. He does things in us, He controls certain things in us, He adds things to us.
Today, He mentions some of these “things:” words, wisdom, protection. We can add to the list that baptism has given us also His life, the gifts of the Spirit, faith, hope, and love, sanctifying grace… In short, a whole load of supernatural inventory which we believe enriches our souls. Is all that real? Does it play a part in my real life?
The context of today's gospel reflects an experience which can be regarded as a golden thread throughout the lives of the saints of all generations. There is a characteristic point in life when these “things” become “reality.” That point is, often, when life demands to take a firm stand - before the court of kings or governors, or simply before the court of my conscience or of people I care for - because of His name. In short: a point in life when I have to decide whether or not I will let the faith in Christ be the decisive factor for choosing among alternatives. A yes to Christ in such a situation is costly, it is often a kind of martyrdom. It shapes us, our whole life, and precisely, therefore, it demands a commitment which involves more than theory, it calls on us in our reality.
This is when Christ's name becomes truly relevant (or not) in my life. And simultaneously Christ's “things” will start to be more than just ideas or even convictions; they will come to life: His words become alive as I hold on to them as truths that shape my actions; His wisdom becomes alive as I lean on it and trust in His ways; His protection becomes alive as I make myself consciously depend on Him; the gifts of His Spirit come alive as I follow His promptings in my conscience; my faith becomes alive as I make it my highest understanding; my hope becomes alive as I seek happiness in the light of eternity; my love becomes alive as I overcome myself and look at my neighbors as He did. His life becomes my life.
Jesus accompanies you day after day. He is active in your soul and awaits patiently the moments when you come alive when you see and embrace His life which He has offered to you. Today is as good a day as any to become aware of the real-ness of your spiritual life. Come alive!