Persevere or give up – that is the question?

– 34th Week in Ordinary Time –

‘By your perseverance you will secure your life.’ [Luke 21:19]

As the liturgical year comes to a close, the Lukan account speaks of the trials and tribulations of the great persecution preceding the coming of the Son of Man. The old order gives way to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem. Amidst the destruction, terror and disasters taking place, Jesus urges his disciples to stand firm and trust in God’s wisdom which will deliver them from false accusation, betrayal and even death. This highly apocalyptic account warns of the chaos that precedes the power, glory and redemption that accompanies the return of Jesus. In this context, Jesus encourages them to persevere, because by so doing, they will ‘receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.’ (James 1:12)

Humans in all arenas of life such as business, sports, professions and interests go to great efforts to discipline themselves to achieve an outstanding level of performance bringing fame, fortune, power and pleasure, societal measures of success.  St. Paul reminds us that ‘suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5:3-5). What are the goals we set ourselves? Are they primarily focused in the material world or do we also aspire to a greater reality, being a member of God’s Kingdom in the fullness of time?

In Galatians 6:9, St. Paul exhorts us to ‘not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.’ Knowing what is worthy of our perseverance is key to our running the race and enduring the hardships and disappointments along the way. Parenting is often a thankless task, yet when one loves ones children no matter what, this relationship becomes fruitful and life giving. Sometimes, we endure ill health, stress, loneliness, injustice, addictions and trials for no apparent ‘harvest.’ Are there some things we should let go of rather than hang on to in the hope that circumstances will improve?  Herein lies the dilemma, persevere or let go.

The pandemic has taken the Plenary Council journey off the radar for many of us. For others, it is the scandal of sexual abuse within the Church or the irrelevance of religion to daily life that has relegated the Plenary Council to the deleted items list. Why would one persevere and champion the importance of ongoing participation and prayer for the Plenary Council process in the face of such challenges? If we believe that the Spirit of God is alive in our hearts and world, with the power and creativity to transform our hearts and lives, then we must commit our time and energies to this journey for the sake of ourselves, our children and our society. Too much is at stake, to give up or let go of this unique surge of missionary endeavour.  The choice is ours.

By Mike Humphrys

get the daily reflections sent directly to your email

Copyright © 2020 · All Rights Reserved

Thank you, we'll be in touch soon

You can close this page now, or if you would like to learn more about us, check out our website.