Talk about a situation you’d never want to be in! Talk about moral courage!
Whenever I watch one of my two favorite movies, “A Man for All Seasons” or “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the umpteenth time, I’m blown away by the moral courage of St. Thomas More and the fictional Atticus Finch. Because they were sane people with a lot to lose, they didn’t want to be heroes. However, like Daniel, they took a stand even though they knew the potential cost.
In today’s Gospel from Luke, Jesus suggests that this is what every Christian must be prepared to do.
“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.”
Is this what we signed on for when our parents had us baptized? Most of us just want to stumble through life as painlessly as possible.
However if we take our faith seriously, we will face times when we will be called to take a stand or to speak truth to power. Like St. Thomas More or Atticus Finch we won’t be able to evade the call and still call ourselves Christians. I’m positive that somewhere today:
•A kid who believes in Jesus will befriend a classmate who is being bullied or eat lunch with a girl that the “popular” crowd shuns.
•A senior citizen who believes in Jesus is welcoming a minority family to the block even though the other neighbors are hostile.
•A middle manager who believes in Jesus is risking his job to blow the whistle on corruption or to protest sexual harassment of a co-worker.
Eventually we will all be asked to follow the example of Daniel and the teachings of Jesus, even in such modest ways. The closing words of today’s Gospel should give us the strength to do so:
“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.”
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook