Cold steel pressed upon your forehead, the man who has placed it there asks you a question: “Do you believe there is a God?”
There is no choice but to answer either way you know you will probably die but you waver on your answer because maybe…just maybe, if you deny God; you will live. You could spend the rest of your life repenting and still see the face of God.
You justify your reluctance to answer, “had I been born a different time, I would have been saved, I wouldn’t have been put in this situation. I would have died a good Christian in my bed.” Of course, these were the thoughts of the Shūsaku Endo’s character Kichijiro in his famous book Silence. And perhaps you’ve read that book and know that Kichijiro was able to defend the faith at the end.
The sweat begins to bead off your face more intensely, it has only been seconds since the question was put to you. “Maybe,” you think, “I’m wrong? My kids won’t have a mother (or a father) because I died for nothing.”
In that moment, you remember:
Matthew 10:19 When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
Trust in the Lord, Trust in His Gospel. Trust in His grace.
The Feast of St. Stephen