PARAÑAQUE City, July 10, 2015—A Catholic priest has exhorted the faithful to remain steadfast in their faith in the Lord, and to continue giving witness to His truth despite a society that is increasingly becoming hostile to the Good News and Christian values.
“Have faith in God. We may rest assured that the Lord will give us the strength which will enable us to do everything according to His command,” Dom Gerardo María D. de Villa, OSB said in a homily he gave on Friday, July 10, at the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew in Parañaque City.
Example of martyrs
Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading, the Benedictine priest reminded the faithful that the persecution of Christians is nothing new given that it has always happened right from the beginning of the Church.
“The hardships Christians experience these days are only a repeat of what had taken place during the time of Christ and the early Christians … They were harassed, tortured, and killed for proclaiming the truth of Jesus, and for living out what the Lord had taught them,” De Villa explained.
“They persistently gave witness to the truth, convinced in their belief that only the truth could set them free,” he added.
By God’s grace
While admitting that upholding the truth can be difficult at times, the priest told the congregation not to worry and to take courage because the Lord will always give them the grace to overcome various trials.
“This power does not come from us. It comes from God,” De Villa said.
Quoting parts of Matthew 10:16-23, he shared, “But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)