So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
~ Luke 23:24-25 (RSVCE)
Death is certain for all of us, but everything else surrounding death is uncertain, except for the certainty of finding refuge and everlasting life in the company of the Lord and the saints. Jesus’ condemnation gives us hope and faith. Are we truly living our lives with this knowledge that the verdict pronounced on our Lord is a verdict of victory for us against sin and hopelessness and that the condemnation is a death knell to the plans of Satan in our lives? Or are we still slaves to sin, burdened with cares of this world, struggling to find joy, hope and peace that comes from God?
Jesus, you took upon yourself the guilt and shame that was supposed to be cast upon me. You walked through your trial like a lamb to slaughter, without a whimper, quietly accepting the verdict of condemnation for my sake. Lord, give me the courage to stand for all that is good in this world and for all those who are persecuted for bearing your name. Give me the grace to be strong when ridiculed, hated or persecuted for following you, never to fear or hesitate to testify to your goodness and mercy. Amen.
In the last few years, I realized that the ways of the world are contrary to the precepts and teachings of the Catholic Church. In having a large family that embraces life and welcomes children, my wife and I faced the ridicule of this world. Initially, the shame and humiliation of living a life contrary to the norms of this world seemed to consume me, until the Lord convicted me of the false sense of shame. In living a life of faithfulness to His teachings, I have begun to experience His victory in my life and in my marriage.
- I will strive to spend time before the Blessed Eucharist seeking God’s wisdom and grace to be convicted of the areas of my life where I continue to live according to the ways of the world;
- I will spend time interceding for those who are persecuted for their faith.