There is a cost to following the Lord: sometimes we must endure the hardship of hate in this world and contend with forces that would seek to destroy the goodness in our lives. Yet we do not stand alone; Jesus Christ gives us the strength we need to face this hardship with the power of his grace.
The Lord speaks bluntly when he tells his disciples about the opposition they will encounter: hatred, persecution, suffering, and ridicule will follow them. And yet this opposition only highlights what’s truly at stake: eternal life!
Chosen by God does not mean that life will be easy; on the contrary, it will be hard! We know from experience that there are times when we pay the price for doing the right thing, and as we follow Jesus Christ we know that we will meet opposition and difficulty…yet with the Lord’s grace we will be given what we need to keep going.
When the going gets tough, the tough live their faith! The early Church faced opposition even as it was filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. We, too, call upon the Lord to face our trials with the same strength that inspired and strengthened the disciples.
The death of John the Baptist recalls the fact that doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason does NOT mean that life will always be easy. In fact, our faith in Jesus Christ will sometimes put us squarely in the face of opposition…and we recognize that we might suffer even as we serve the Lord with all our heart.