Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
July 14, 2023
Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 10:16-23
Jesus said to his Apostles: "Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus predicts the persecution of his followers. A vast army of martyrs have in the course of Christian history given their lives for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. They are from every culture, country, language, and background.
This is the army that stands opposed to worldly armies that do their work through violence, threats, and oppression. They witness to the power and authority of the risen Lord and therefore they are fighters—but they do not fight with the weapons of the world.
One might think of St. Peter himself, crucified upside down; or Felicity and Perpetua, thrown to wild animals; or of Thomas Becket, who resisted King Henry II’s attempts to manipulate the Church and was butchered by his henchmen; or Thomas More, who resisted another King Henry and paid for it with his head.
One might think of Paul Miki, the Japanese Jesuit, who was crucified for announcing the Christian faith; or Miguel Pro, who was shot to death for defying a repressive Mexican government, shouting as he was martyred, "Viva Cristo Rey!"