Our Gospel today warns us of coming persecutions. At some point, we will all be dragged before synagogues and rulers and authorities of some sort, and we will have to give an account of what we believe. Now for us, it’s not going to be so literal, obviously. But we may have to give an account of why we believe in Christ or why we follow a religion that inconveniently speaks out against threats to life and family. We may have to tell others why it is that we would give up some of the first non-rainy day in the last few to sort food for the food pantry or dig a trench outside the church or clean the pews.
Living our faith is always going to cost us something and that something is likely to be status or popularity, or at least the wondering glance from people who aren’t ready to accept the faith. But the volumes that we speak by living our faith anyway might just lay the groundwork for conversion and become a conduit of grace. We are told that we don’t have to hammer out all the words we want to say; that the Holy Spirit will give us eloquence that we can only dream of. And it’s true, if we trust God, if we live our faith when it’s popular or unpopular, we will have the Spirit and the words. God only knows what can be accomplished in those grace-filled moments!