STUNG BY CHRIST’S REBUKE, the Pharisees and teachers of the Law began plotting against Him. They sought His opinion on various subjects, endeavoring to provoke some indiscreet utterance that they might use as evidence in accusing Him. His followers were one day to be hounded in the same way, and to forearm them against this persecution and a possible compromise with the enemy, He said to them:
“Beware the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. No disciple is above his teacher, nor is the servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and for the servant to be like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of his household! But there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known. For what you have said in darkness will be said in the light; and what you have whispered in the inner chambers will be preached on the housetops. But I say to you, My friends: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall be afraid of; be afraid of him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, be afraid of him. Are not five sparrows sold for a farthing? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave. Yes, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you, everyone who acknowledges Me before men, him will the Son of Man also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns Me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.”
Then He promised them the aid of the Holy Ghost.
“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious how or wherewith you shall defend yourselves, or what you shall say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Meditation: The loving care of God for each of us is a startling truth. In spite of the millions of human beings, in spite of their multiple activities, the infinite God is constantly watching over each human being and all his actions. To arm His disciples for persecution, Christ emphasized this truth for them. Even the hairs of their head, He told them, are known to God. Today, when many persecutors have apparent triumphs, it is well to recall that God’s Providence is still at work. From every seeming defeat He draws some good.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 151-152. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.