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Friday of the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

​​ My dear encountered couples:

Today’s Gospel has a different tone. Jesus continues his instructions to his disciples. However, he warns his disciples that as they proclaim his message, they need to be careful. They will be vulnerable, like sheep in the midst of wolves. Thus, they need to be alert and shrewd in their assessment of everyone they encounter.

Jesus also warns them that they may be arrested, scourged and taken before governors and kings for “his sake.” In these situations, they are to be strong and witness to him. He then consoles them. He tells them that they are not to worry about what to say in response to the authorities. Jesus promises that they will be given the words to say. No matter what happens to them, the Spirit will be with them and speak through them!

Can you remember a time in your life you felt persecuted for what you believed? Did you have a sense of Jesus’ presence and grace, strengthening you and instructing you how to respond to this situation? You may not have “heard” Jesus’ voice. However, you may have been amazed at your courage as you responded to the situation. Or perhaps unexpected words came from your mouth and you didn’t know where they came from.

Following Jesus is not an easy path. Following Jesus means that every day we have to consciously choose to be and do what Jesus did. At times, this may bring consequences that we do not expect. However, if we choose to deviate from this path, we have to face ourselves and Jesus!

“Following Jesus” may sound romantic. However, if we truly live as Jesus lived, we may rock some boats and make enemies just as he did. However, we always have a choice. And every morning, we have to make a choice! What is the choice we will make today? If we choose to live and act as Jesus did, we will receive abundant graces! Only we can choose!

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