Perseverance is a word that describes what it means to stay the course in the midst of struggle and rejection. Persevere. As protests express not only the rage, but the need for lasting change, we are being called to stand firm and not lose hope. Discouragement is the weapon of the evil one, who knows that when courage is surrendered, so too is the ability to overcome evil. We give in and say, “Nothing is going to change. I’m done.” Instead of persevering, we give up the struggle and let apathy take the reins.
St. Paul is trying to Encourage Timothy who may have been intimidated by Paul’s suffering and imprisonments due to his preaching the gospel. Yes, the preaching comes with a cost, the cost of discipleship, to persevere in living the gospel, no matter that cost. If I’m not feeling the struggle, I’m not living the gospel. If Jesus is Lord and Savior of our lives, he is calling us to persevere in the face of resistance, just as he did, which led to the Cross.
Discipleship is not just something we “check off” on our list of things to be done. “Went to Mass, check that off,” and then we move on to the next item on the list: read the paper, breakfast or dinner, a movie... feeling secure we’ve done our Christian duty, all’s well. Discipleship means actually creating the list of things to be done and letting Christ in on everything we do. Once prayer takes root, what we put on our list of activities will very likely change, so too will be the thought in which we do these everyday activities. MINDFULNESS, leads to reflection, which in turn leads to meaning, which flowers into gratitude.
These four words give a firm foundation to perseverance, which when done in spirit, we discover a sliver of hope. These times are calling for protests, but also perseverance, once the protests are over. We have work to be done: learn how we got to this place, a very painful reality, get involved in becoming a part of the solution, VOTE in every election. November is fast approaching.
Christ our Lord and Savior is calling us to action that is rooted in prayer and perseverance.