Friday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time
“No slave is greater than his master” (Jn 15,20)
I have written to you, beloved, concerning Jesus who was persecuted, and the righteous [of the Old Testament] who were persecuted, in order that those who today are persecuted for the sake of the persecuted Jesus, may be comforted. For he wrote for us and himself gave us comfort when he said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. And they will indeed persecute you because you do not belong to the world any more than I belong to it.” (Jn 15:19-20; 17:14). For he wrote beforehand for us: “Your fathers and your brothers and your family will deliver you up, and all men shall hate you for my name's sake”. And again he taught us, “When they shall bring you before rulers and magistrates and kings that govern the world, do not worry beforehand what you shall say, and how you shall make defence. I will give you a mouth and wisdom such that your enemies will not be able to overcome you, because it is not you who will be speaking, but the Spirit of your Father who will be speaking in you.”
This is the spirit which spoke by the mouth of Jacob to Esau, his persecutor; and the spirit of wisdom which spoke before Pharaoh by the mouth of Joseph when he was persecuted; and the spirit which spoke by the mouth of Moses in all the wonders which he did in the land of Egypt...; and the spirit that uttered psalms by the mouth of David when he was persecuted, by which he used to sing psalms and soothe Saul his persecutor from the evil spirit; and the spirit which clothed Elijah, and through him reproved Jezebel and Ahab his persecutor...; and the spirit which strengthened Jeremiah, so that he stood boldly, and by it reproved Zedekiah; and the spirit that preserved Daniel and his brethren in the land of Babylon; and the spirit that delivered Mordecai and Esther in the place of their captivity...
Hear, beloved, these names of martyrs, of confessors, and of the persecuted: Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Jephthah, Samson, Gideon and Barak, David, Samuel, Hezekiah, Elijah, Elisha, Micah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hananiah and his brothers, Judas Maccabeus and his brothers... But greater and more excellent is the martyrdom of Jesus. He surpassed in affliction and in confession all who were before or after.