They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
For the peaceable kingdom of God to start coming into being in the present moment…there will be hardships. St. Paul endured being beaten, stoned, and imprisoned as well as other persecutions before he was eventually put to death. Those working to dismantle unfair power structures that oppress the poor will meet resistance from those holding the power. Look at Gandhi, Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus just to name a few. We, as followers of Jesus, are called to this path as well. We are also called to return love when we are persecuted…but not to back down. We are called to stand up for the poor and vulnerable, to stand up for the dignity of each person, to work for the solidarity of one human family and to be good stewards of all God’s creation. This is what it means to be a Christian. It is not an easy path. Being a Christian means more than going to church and believing doctrines. It means being Christ to the world.
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Remember…God loves you!