Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
August 5, 2022
Daily Reading from the USCCB: Matthew 16:24-28
In the Gospel, Jesus reveals his fast-approaching suffering and death to his apostles. They were not ready to accept this because of their own plans. They had their own hopes for fame and fortune, though Jesus so often frustrated them by down-playing his awesome power.
It was then that Jesus bluntly stated what it meant to be a true disciple. It meant being willing to suffer for the truths of the gospel that Jesus was preaching. It wasn’t just a matter of self-denial--which many might do quite easily. It could reach the point where one would really have to suffer for being a believer.
We see that today in the Middle East where men and women are stoned or beheaded for being Christians--for being a believer in Jesus. For these people faith is not about knowing doctrines. Rather it’s about giving up one’s life for belief in the person of Jesus. That’s what being a Christian really means.
Our lives are well-protected at this time from much of the suffering we see daily in the news. We dare not take our faith for granted though, when we see others being martyred for the same faith that we profess.