Scripture Reading: John 15:18

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.” From time to time innovators create new trends: The Beatles ushered in a new kind of music; Picasso painted in a way that challenged earlier styles. Innovators question the existing order and are often seen as suspect. Jesus too challenged deeply held values and practices and had to pay with His life.

But often the new idea gains acceptance over a period of time and may become the new mainstream. Jesus was crucified for His Good News; but today, Christianity is a big part of world culture. Huge numbers of people call themselves Christian, and magnificent cathedrals proclaim that they are no longer a marginal band of disciples. Christianity is a major religion in our times.

Are we then to expect the opposition to end? Jesus cautioned His disciples that it would not be so (today’s Gospel). His teachings were so radical, His insistence on humility, mercy, selflessness and love of neighbour are still so counter to the culture of self-promotion and power-play, that a follower of Christ can always expect resistance from the world. Francis of Assisi may be admired but is still seen as too outlandish to be emulated. And many saintly people will be persecuted, as Jesus was (Focus).

As we struggle to understand and follow our Lord, we must remember that His way is still a challenge to the world, we must brace ourselves for oppositions. Jesus is warning the disciples that it will not be easy for them to preach the Good News after He ascends back to the Father. Just the same way the world  rejected and mistreated Him, it will mistreat them too. Being chosen by Jesus to preach to all nations of the world meant that the disciples, at that period of time, and we at this present time will undergo so much persecutions and rejections from the people we want to proclaim the Good news to. Jesus assures us that being hated by the world should not stop us from preaching the Good News to those who have not yet accepted it.

We should persevere with all manner of hatred and persecutions, just as Jesus did because our ultimate price will be rejoicing with Jesus in Heaven together with the angels and saints. The Holy Spirit will always give us the strength to overcome all the challenges brought to our way by the evil one. So let us all not be afraid.

MASS:  VIOLET:   ST. WINEBALD Gen. 49:2,8-10; Ps. 72:1-2,3-4ab,7-8,17 (R.see 70) Accl: Come, O wisdom of the Most High! You order all things with gentle power; come and teach us the way of prudence;  Gospel Mtt 1:1-17

Prayer Point:

               1.            Lord Jesus Christ, give us the strength, courage, wisdom and love to be able to preach the Good News to the world. Remove fear and anxiety from our hearts so that we may see the persecutions in our life as stepping stones towards overcoming greater challenges that we may encounter as we preach Your Gospel. Amen.

Exercise:  Encourage someone with this reflection today.

Meditation: 2 Corinthians 4:7-10