First Reading: Gn 46:1-7. 28-30; Psalm: 37 R. v. 39a; Gospel: Mt 10:16-23
WITNESSING TO THE TRUTH
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP.
“I’ve been sitting here for many days now. They’ve been looking for me for many days too. From where I’m sitting, I can see their angry faces. It’s only a matter of time; they’ll be on to me.” (Lucky Dube).
The above excerpts are from Lucky Dube’s music track “Fugitive.” In this track, Lucky Dube described himself as ‘the running man;’ ‘the fugitive’ for he was always on the run as the authorities seek to arrest him for speaking the truth. The lyrics of this song are so evocative and replete with the unsettling realities that trails the gospel of truth. Choose to speak the truth unreservedly, and I bet you, you will become a fugitive even to your own people. The gospel of truth is anti to societal system.
Another way Jesus would have described his apostles in the gospel of today is “religious fugitives.” Jesus reminded them that they were like sheep in the midst of wolves. They would be persecuted, betrayed and tortured. And Jesus added; “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.” This means they cannot exhaust preaching the gospel of truth to the world and consequently will be persecuted as long as they remained faithful to this mission. And the apostles faced this reality till death.
Every disciple of the gospel will face this harsh treatment. We can only avoid this hot seat if we chose to be reticent about the things that matters. But as long as we are vocal to witnessing to the gospel of truth, we would always feel the claws of the wolves. In our world today, priests have been arrested for promoting the moral teachings of the Church and killed for preaching the truth. Bishops have been incarcerated for upholding orthodox beliefs, and many Christians are facing ill treatments and rejection because of their creed. If we are living within a society where we feel so comfortable and relaxed; perhaps we are not doing much in promoting the gospel of truth.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, give us the grace to constantly witness to the truth amidst the harsh treatment of the world. Amen.