‘You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives’.

These are the final words of today’s Gospel reading. The last sentence can also be translated as ‘in your patient endurance you will possess your souls’.

In enduring patiently all that comes to us in the way of trials (and we are warned that they will be many) we gain, and possess, a special quality of the soul – indeed, the soul itself, because Christ Himself comes to meet us in the trial. There is no place where He is not, though we may not feel Him. But He draws close to us particularly in our times of suffering.

May we know His presence this day by faith, and may God bless you this day.