Is Fortitude just having the courage to do what’s right in the face of adversity? How many times, two or three times? Or is it more? Actually, two or three times would be helpful practice, but fortitude demands more. Fortitude is constancy in pursuit of what is good, true, and beautiful, Always! Regardless of the negative outcome for us… pretty scary.
Jeremiah was persecuted for speaking the truth, calling the people of Judah to return to the Lord and His law. Jeremiah brought news that was not welcome, and he didn’t sugarcoat it. But Jeremiah continued to speak out against the Jews although he knew they were plotting against him as we see in the first reading.
Perhaps Jesus’ own demonstration of fortitude is why many thought He was the prophet Jeremiah returned. But Jesus takes it even further and gives us the best example of fortitude as he sets His face to Jerusalem. Jesus knows that this Jerusalem visit will be unlike all the others, it will mean great suffering and death. All the while the clueless disciples, jockey for position in Christ kingdom – they were ignorant about the true cost of discipleship.
The psalmist understands the cost but relies on God for deliverance and redemption. Christ himself uses the same words from this Psalm on the cross “into your hands I commend my spirit”. Jesus knew the costs but continued to do what was right, good & true.
Being a disciple means we are to develop the virtue of Fortitude, speaking truth to a godless nation regardless of the costs. Are we ready to do this regardless of the cost, or are we just jockeying for position in the kingdom?