Gospel: John 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for OL – Patrick Marley RIP
Fr Alfredo Guerrero, a former parish priest in my hometown, preached one Easter Vigil on how the apostles suffered persecution for witnessing to the Lord’s Death and Resurrection. While pointing at the images of the apostles painted on both sides of the sanctuary, he told the congregation the suffering they endured for being chosen by the Lord: Peter was crucified upside down, Paul was beheaded, Jude was clubbed to death, etc. Indeed, as today’s Gospel tells us, if the world hated Jesus, we would not expect anything less from His followers – the apostles, martyrs, the whole people of God.
Through Baptism, we have become sharers of the life of Jesus. We share in His threefold ministry as priest, prophet, and king. We have a new life! As such, we are called to bear witness to our Lord. We may not have the same experience as the apostles or martyrs, but we too have our moments of being persecuted. Let us draw strength from the Risen Jesus who has conquered the world (cf. John 16:33).
- How does your witnessing build up the Church?
- How brave or scared are you of persecutions? Why or why not?
- “The world cannot understand anything of this rich account of the trials of believers, because the world almost entirely lacks the notion of faith and especially of its necessity” (Fr Pierre-Thomas Dehau, OP). How can you help an unbelieving world to have faith in Christ?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Help us to realize the new life You have shared with us so that we may courageously proclaim the Good News to the world in dire need of it. Amen. (Pietro)