Readings for Friday, July 8:
"I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves."
We often hear about the proverbial 'wolf among the sheep' and how dangerous it can be for all the sheep because a single wolf can certainly do much damage if not quickly struck down. And yet today we hear the Lord tell His Apostles that they are being sent as sheep among wolves. In essence the Lord is telling them that they WILL be torn to pieces - they will be persecuted, beaten, and endure much suffering on His account. Though all of us are likely not to be so intensely persecuted as the Apostles were, we too must also face the reality that when we go and preach the Gospel in the world today we are in a sense being sent as sheep among wolves. The world does not always like what we have to say and will likely work to tear us down. But in the face of that, we must ultimately pray for the grace to always stand strong and be willing to pick up our cross and follow the Lord. Today, may we receive the strength that Jacob had, who upon hearing the voice of the Lord respond simply and boldly, "Here I am!"