In the last few weeks of this liturgical year our scripture readings focus on the last things including death, judgement, heaven and hell. Today's readings sound dire and indeed they are because Jesus and the prophet Malachi before him speak of a persecution which is to come. We know in history Jesus followers were often persecuted often to death in the early years and centuries after Jesus. We can use this history as a springboard as Jesus followers still suffer in parts of the world because of their faith. There are also people persecuted because of their political elegance or sexual orientation or other faiths such as the Muslim Uyghurs. Today I would like to reflect of suffering that happens closer to home and that is within families and intimate relationships.
In Australia one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner. Children are victims to and sometimes men. But it is often women who suffer disproportionately. This is close to home. Although it is difficult for us to effect change in Iran, China or Qatar, we can work for change here.