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“If God is for us, who can be against us?” —Romans 8:31

St. Paul asks: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Trial, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, or nakedness, or danger, or the sword?” (Rm 8:35) This was no mere rhetorical question for Paul. He had experienced first-hand all of these dangers and more (see 2 Cor 11:23ff). He knew for “certain” that nothing could separate him from the love of God (Rm 8:38, 39). This certain knowledge of God’s personal love for him gave Paul the courage to be more than a conqueror (Rm 8:37). No threat could deter Paul from carrying out his mission.

When the Pharisees told Jesus that Herod was trying to kill him (Lk 13:31), this was no idle threat. Herod had just finished killing John the Baptizer, and he would also kill his own son who posed a threat to his kingdom. Jesus, however, was also certain of His Father’s enduring love for Him. Undaunted, Jesus proceeded directly toward Jerusalem, Herod’s hometown (Lk 13:33). It turned out that Herod indeed had the chance to kill Jesus, but didn’t even harm Him (Lk 23:8ff). No threat could deter Jesus from carrying out His mission.

We are baptized into Jesus, and like Paul, we have a mission from God. “Do not be afraid” (Mt 10:31). Let no threat deter you from carrying out your God-given mission.

PRAYER: Father, I will not be intimidated (Mt 10:26) by threats to stop me from loving and serving You.
PROMISE: “He stood at the right hand of the poor man, to save him from those who would condemn him.” –Ps 109:31
PRAISE: Carol was turned away from several religious orders before becoming a third-order Carmelite.

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