Today, I’m thinking about the Scripture passages that discuss the commissioning of Jesus’ disciples to evangelize and the reference to them as “lambs among wolves” in this process. (Luke 10:1-20 and Matt 10:5-33). In Jesus’ time, it appears that the idea was to spread the faith far and wide by moving from house to house talking about the Good News of salvation, saying “the kingdom of God is at hand for you.” (Luke 10:9). Some would receive them in peace and some would not. Jesus warned that those that would not receive them in peace (the “wolves”) may hand them over to the courts and scourge them (Matt 10:17-18) or turn them in to “governors and kings” for judgement (Matt 10:18). Jesus also said this: “Whoever listens to you, listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16). Through all of this, Jesus tells them repeatedly to not be afraid. (Matt 10:26, 10:28, 10:31).
Today’s secular world is the same in many ways, but also different in many ways. There are those who evangelize as the disciples were requested to do, but there are also those who are just trying to practice their faith as authentically and devotedly as they can. Through all of this, we are lambs among wolves. Who are the wolves in the modern world? Just as in Jesus’ day, they are those who oppose Christ’s Church and her teachings. But, they are also those who would kill. They are those who would rape. They are those who would physically abuse innocent people. They are those who would sexually harass people. They are those who would pass laws that go against what we believe. They are those who reduce human dignity to nothingness. They are those who support killing the unborn. They are those who bully people. On and on.
What should our response be? We must know our faith. We must remain true to the practice our faith against all odds. We must not be afraid. We must evangelize when given the opportunity. We must lead by our example. We must support our faithful Church leaders. We must love our fellow man. On and on! Above all, we must pray.
Here is my prayer. Lord, help me to not be afraid. Help me to remain true to you. Help me to give good example to my friends and relatives. Help me in my opposition to modern-day wolves. Help me to love you above all things and my neighbor as myself. Amen.