But watch yourselves (Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς); for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mk 13: 9-13)

The Lord urges us to “watch ourselves,” in the dangerous business of belonging to Him, – as if this is the type of thing that might happen to us unawares, or even against our will. And so it is, and has been, throughout Church History. Those least likely, and perhaps even least willing, to preach the Gospel “to all nations,” to all sorts of people, have been dragged into situations in which they find themselves doing just that. Simply because of who or Whose they are, and that is, “Christian,” or Christ’s. His name might come between them and those most dear to them, or between them and those most illustrious in society, as something hateful.

Today if we find ourselves rejected, simply for who we are, let us “not be anxious” but grateful, for the reminder. We need not muster up the words that will make us “likeable,” as much as we would love to be “likeable,” but hand ourselves over to the will and word of the Holy Spirit, Who liberates us to be our true selves, according to our vocation(s). By way of certain, painful rejections, we are re-affirmed in our sense of belonging and identity, to and in Christ. Thank You, Lord, for guiding us to “salvation”; to become more and more who we are, fully and truly human, in You.