While reading today’s first reading and responsorial, you may feel like you’re in the midst of Lent. The reading from Hosea 14 is one that we see during Lent, and the responsorial from Psalm 51 is a Lenten mainstay. Be sure to read and meditate on both!
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 10, Jesus tells His disciples, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” This doesn’t sound like the kind of duty that most people would want to sign up for, does it? I mean, who wants to be hated by any one, much less all? Many, when that first tinge of persecution comes along, will change course. Much easier to go along with the crowd and be liked, no?
It can be very hard to persevere when times get tough. Our minds play tricks on us; the devil tells us that it would be much easier to just go along, or to give up altogether on following the narrow road. But it is endurance that will pay off, eternally. There are two must-have qualities to endure to the end: first, we must have a strong sense of mission. We must know that this is the path that God has put us on. Second, and most importantly, we must rely on God’s strength. Like the old saying goes…If God sees you to it, He’ll see you through it.
Father, help us not to be quitters. Give us the strength to endure to the end, where eternal life with you awaits us. Amen.