Thursday, July 11, 2013

Take Refuge in Him

Take Refuge in Him

Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

As soon as Joseph said him, (his father Israel) flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms. And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.” (Genesis 46:29-30)
The salvation of the just is from the Lord; he is their refuge in time of distress. And the Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (Psalms 37:39-40)
“You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.” (Matthew 10:22-23)

Lord, I need no friend but you. Stand by me in the good times and the bad. I love you.

Father Francois Mourad died at the hands of Syrian rebels on June 23. They said he was collaborating with Assad regime.

Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic who was the only Christian in the Pakistani Cabinet, died in March 2011 when his car was sprayed with bullets. He had been under attack for his efforts to promote interfaith dialogue, including opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which include death for anyone who defames Muhammad.

Annalena Tonelli, a Catholic aid worker, was shot to death in Kenya in October 2003. She had battled to stop female genital mutilation in Africa and helped care for AIDS and tuberculosis patients.

Catholics here in the United States risk their reputations if not their lives to stand up for the issues that most resonate with them: the Health and Human Services’ mandate that most employers’ health insurance policies cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing devices. Voting rights. Immigration reform. Legalized abortion. Capital punishment.

Sometimes, it feels like no matter where Christians may stand politically, someone or someones are ready to challenge us verbally or physically about some aspect of our most deeply held religious beliefs. May we always remember Jesus’s message from today’s Gospel: “You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” May that promise guide us and the work the Father calls us to do.

Catholics are persecuted every day in this world. Consider donating your weekly coffee money or the cost of a nice dinner to Aid to the Church in Need or some other international Catholic charity this week.

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