This is a difficult gospel. Our human nature often wants to seek the “path of least resistance” or to reach for instant gratification. However, in this gospel, Jesus tells the apostles that they will endure hatred, persecution, and rejection by society on account of their faith. This hardly seems to be “good news.”

There is no doubt that we live in a world of conflict and violence. Each time I look at my phone it seems that there is another news notification of a global or local tragedy. Having faith and seeking to build community in the midst of violence requires endurance. Today’s gospel teaches us not to wait until things are easy and safe to become the Church. Rather, we must be “Easter people in a Good Friday world.”

Today we pray for courage to have enduring faith and be symbols of God’s hope and peace to a world that is broken.

—Kathleen Cullen Ritter serves as Director of Campus Ministry at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, WI. She attended Marquette University and served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp in Bend, OR.