The kingdom of our Lord Jesus, the Sun of Justice, is coming now. His presence grants healing beyond measure but may also demand a separating, perhaps even a wrenching in our hearts, as evil is separated from good. Indeed choices must be made; sometimes hard choices. And as Jesus points out in the Gospel this morning, we may even be hated by all because of his name. Still he consoles us with his promise: "not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
Perseverance. The word in Greek is hupomone, signifying a steadfastness and constancy, an endurance characteristic of anyone who keeps to their purpose and is loyal to faith and piety and so willing to endure the greatest trials and sufferings with patience.*
As Father Luke reminded us this morning, perseverance is truly counter-cultural. "Yet, it is in our perseverance in the commitments that we have undertaken in Christ's name that we will come to know Christ Jesus and the power of his cross and resurrection working within us- within weak and sinful human beings."