Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
“Children do not fear persecution. It is a sign of great favor. Do not fear that which can harm the body, but cling to me as a little child clings to its mother or father. Let go of your fears. Trust in me. Know that I am most near to you in your times of great trial. Remain steadfast. Defend me and I will defend you—it is that simple. Those who do not lose faith will be richly rewarded. Ah, but this is not difficult—even under duress—for the one who places all her trust in me and none in herself. Left to yourself, you will crumble and fall. But I am ready with untold gifts if you place all your trust in me. Yet, even if you crumble, draw near to me and I will move you faster and farther than you dreamed possible. Give me your weakness and let me transform it. Do you see now why you must not be afraid? Look at me. See my love for you. Enter into my pierced heart. There you will be perfectly safe. Come to me, my children. Draw near.”
O my Jesus, give us joy in all circumstances, the joy of knowing that you are near, so near to us. Take your hand, Jesus, and lift us into your pierced heart. Plant us firmly there, Beloved, so that we will not be put to shame, but will use the gifts you offer to defend you and your Bride. Jesus, I trust in you. I love you! By your grace, may your name always be glorified in me. Amen.