As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us.
So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way,
and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly,
and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.
– Hebrews 12:1 (GNT)
We need to be faithful in spite of all difficulties.
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of obedience,
of faithfulness to His mission,
of union with the Father,
and of endurance in suffering.
“We have this large crowd of witnesses around us.”
This is a reference to the multitude of holy people
who, in the course of the history, stayed faithful to God
– they are a huge number and they fill the sky.
It is good for me to keep these “witnesses”, these saints, in mind
because, while I am like an athlete running the race of life,
they are like active spectators
applauding my efforts, giving me their support,
urging me on to run the race as God wants me to run it.
It is good for me to keep this large crowd of witnesses in mind,
and not forget that they will also be there watching me
should I give up on running my race according to God’s rules.
They are greatly saddened when that see that happen
…because they are the ones who know and have already experienced
the glorious prize that awaits those who persevere in truth.
“Let us rid ourselves…of the sin which holds on to us so tightly.”
Sin is a "weight" which hinders our movements and reduces our agility
and, just like athletes do, we too must shed all surplus weight
and keep to a strict training schedule involving many small sacrifices.
Like athletes, our only hope of success depends on this.
We are urged to run with determination.
Ours is not a short race
but a long test which calls for endurance
and an ability to cope with pain and fatigue.
As difficult as the race might be,
we should always remain mindful of that glorious prize that awaits us
– eternal life with Christ.
If that does not make us determined, then nothing else will!
"Anything that does not lead to God is a hindrance.
Root it out and throw it far from you."
– St. Josemaria Escriva
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Lord Jesus, as I run the race you have set before me,
fill me with strength and courage
and help me focus on the glorious prize that awaits me.