Perseverance - Page 4
With this picture of St Luke at his post in the centre of danger, let none of us ever give way to the temptation of forsaking the Christian Faith. You will hear people say that they gave up the practice of religion because of the hypocrisy of those who professed it. If that means anything at all, it means that because some served Our Lord badly, they decided not to serve him at all.
The hollowness of that excuse is obvious when we compare Luke with Demas. Luke stayed because his whole life was centred on Our Blessed Lord. Demas quitted because his life was centred on himself. So one of the reasons why people leave the Church today is that they regard it as an organisation in which they can achieve personal prominence, and are aggrieved when their plans do not work out to their liking.
Others may lapse from fear, fear of the ridicule or opposition of those with whom they live or associate. Such opposition can be very real and unpleasant but it ought not to be surprising. In that very letter which St Paul dictated in his cell, he has warned us, “…all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (NRSV, 2 Timothy 3:12). Indeed, such trials have this value: by testing people’s true quality, they separate the wheat from the chaff.