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THE most remarkable thing about Our Lord Jesus is that He does not keep anything for Himself. He not only gives all glory to the Father, but then wills to share His glory with us to the extent that we become coheirs and copartners with Christ. [1]

Speaking of the Messiah, Isaiah writes:

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness. (Isaiah 42:6-8)

Jesus shares this mission with the Church: to become a light to the nations, healing and deliverance to those imprisoned by their sin, and teachers of divine truth, without which there is no justice. To undertake this work will cost us, as it cost Jesus. For unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bear fruit. [2] But then He also shares with the faithful His own i nheritance, paid in blood. These are the seven promises He makes from His own lips:

To the victor I will give the right to eat from the tree of life that is in the garden of God. (Rev 2:7)

The victor shall not be harmed by the second death. (Rev 2:11)

To the victor I shall give some of the hidden manna; I shall also give a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name… (Rev 2:17)

To the victor, who keeps to my ways until the end,
I will give authority over the nations. (Rev 2:26)

The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels. (Rev 3:5)

The victor I will make into a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never leave it again. On him I will inscribe the name of my God and the name of the city of my God… (Rev 3:12)

I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne… (Rev 3:20)

As we see the Storm of persecution billowing on the horizon, we would do well to re-read this “Victor’s creed” when we feel a bit overwhelmed. Yet, as I’ve said before, it is only sheer grace that is going to carry the Church through this time as she shares in Our Lord’s Passion:

…she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 677

So, if Jesus received an anointing, like He did in today’s Gospel, so too, the Church will receive an anointing from God to prepare her for her own Passion. That anointing will likewise come through a “Mary”, but this time the Mother of God, who through her intercession and the Flame of Love from her heart, will help equip the saints to not only persevere, but march into enemy territory. [3] Filled with the Spirit, the faithful will be able to say, even in the face of their persecutors:

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (Today’s Psalm)

For the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for the Victors. [4]

…the Holy Spirit changes those in whom he comes to dwell and alters the whole pattern of their lives. With the Spirit within them it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely otherworldly in their outlook, and for cowards to become men of great courage. —St. Cyril of Alexandria, Magnificat, April, 2013, p. 34

First published March 30th, 2015.

RELATED READING

Authentic Hope

The Great Storm

Francis and the Coming Passion of the Church

Persecution is Near

Persecution… and the Moral Tsunami

The Collapse of America and the New Persecution

 

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