In today's Second Reading, I am struck by Saint Paul's reminder to us—he declares that he has shared the Gospel to the point of being imprisoned for it. In Colossians 4:18, Saint Paul reflects a similar sentiment when he writes to the people, "Remember my chains."
If Saint Paul can be chained up and locked away and still find the perseverance to preach the Gospel, I can stand for my faith in 2019.
When I reflect on Saint Paul's imprisonment, I take a step further to reflect on all those who have gone before us just as Saint Paul did, persevering in faith until death so they may reign with God forever. (See 2 Timothy 2:12.)
Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Stephen, the Ugandan martyrs, Saint Jose Sanchez del Rio, Saint Dymphna, Saint Joan . . . the list of people who were imprisoned and killed in the name of Jesus Christ is long, and here I am worrying about being mocked for my faith at my job.
We worry about witnessing to our faith to our relatives at Thanksgiving, worry about telling a date that we're living chastely, worry about the consequences of small inconveniences and condescending commentary about our Catholic beliefs when so many were willing to be chained up and die. Where is our courage?
Today, let us allow Saint Paul's words to propel us in a new way, to remember his imprisonment for Jesus, his literal chains, and remember the suffering of the martyrs—allowing that to inspire us to press on forward, stopping at nothing so that all may know His name.
The late Mother Angelica shared her message of courage that resonates with us today.
Emily Wilson Hussem planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves every second of it. She is the author of I Choose the Sky and Go Bravely. She is a contributing author to our Advent devotional book, All the Generations. You can find out more about her here.