Whoever loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more
than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life, for my sake, will find it.
Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes him who sent me. The one who
welcomes a prophet, as a prophet, will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man,
because he is a just man, will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to
one of these little ones, because he is my disciple, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”
When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there, to teach and to
proclaim his message in their towns.
Pedro Casaldàliga (1928-2020), the late bishop of the Amazonian territorial prelature of São Félix do Araguaia
in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, grew up in Catalonia in Spain, during the years of the revolution and religious
persecution of the 1930s. He knew what it meant to be a persecuted Church. Later, as a bishop fighting against
the land mafia and the military government in order to protect the rights of the indigenous people, he observed:
“I understood better to what extent conflict must be an essential part of the Church and of the life of Jesus Christ.”
A non-negotiable, unconditional choice for Christ will invite persecution; sometimes even from one’s most intimate
circle of family and friends. Sometimes even from within certain sectors of the Church. But any compromise to win the
world will result in loss of Christ. There are no ifs and buts in the following of Christ. It must be Christ, all the way.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2022