Today’s gospel invites asks a lot in terms of our relationships with one another. Jesus invites understanding, forgiveness, and witness to our Christian faith, even in the face of persecution. CNN, online websites and print news stories remind us of this sometimes prickly challenge on a daily basis. To boost our confidence Jesus suggests that, when the chips are down, “you will be given what you are to say.” The Holy Spirit, alive in my mind and heart and voice, will help me find my voice. Further, as Pope Francis frequently suggests, my best words are those of mercy and forgiveness. In most any crisis, merciful words will soften hearts, forgiveness can challenge a firmly fixed position, and a hope-filled approach may invite conversation from a fresh perspective.
The challenge of course is how to proceed in the heat of the moment, when the rubber meets the road. How will I respond in the moment? What words of forgiveness and deeds of mercy will flow out of my heart? Right now I speak to Jesus about this . . .
—The Jesuit Prayer Team