The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday for the 34th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 21:12-19. 

Preparing His disciples for the coming turmoil, Christ declared the Temple would be utterly destroyed, there would be “wars and tumults”, earth upheavals and false messiahs who would claim to be Christ.  

Christ predicts vicious persecutions of His disciples followed by calamitous events. Christ warns that disciples will be physically tormented (“lay their hands on you”), and brought before secular powers for His name’s sake; disciples will be betrayed by family and friends.  

Christ reveals that the persecutions are an opportunity to evangelize the powerful. To prepare His disciples for these persecutions, Christ commands them to rely on Him. Christ promises to provide the disciples the words that their persecutors will be unable to “understand or contradict”; this is the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Throughout all these trials Christ exhorts the disciples to endure, promising those who endure, even those who are killed, will not perish but will see everlasting life.  

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has omniscience that spans time, knowing the specifics of the coming persecutions. Divine Prophet, Christ accurately predicts the fall of the Temple and the persecutions of the early Christians. Divine King, Christ encourages and challenges His disciples to rely on Him and to endure to the end. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1)  Be amazed at Christ’ astoundingly accurate prophecies of the persecution of Christians which will come true when all His Apostles are persecuted (all save John are martyred; John is exiled) and in the countless martyrs by the Roman Empire and those who continue to be persecuted today. 

2) Christ’s calls men to “bear testimony” is a particularly manly endeavor, because “testimony” comes from the Latin testis (testicle); when a man pronounce an oath in ancient Hebrew practice, another man would grasp the oath-giver’s testicles (Gen 24:29) to confirm the deadly seriousness of keeping the oath. Reflect upon your responsibility to Participate in Christ’s Prophetic Office (CCC 904-907) and pray for Christ to give you the manly courage to testify and bear witness for Him in the world. 

3) The persecutions Christ foresees are upon us: speaking plan truth of Catholicism is suppressed in this society by ridicule, shaming, harassment and lawsuits. Review your responsibility to Bear Witness to the Truth (CCC 2471-2474) and pray for Christ to give you the courage and prudence to speak the fullness of the Truth of Christ’s Catholic Church with charity.