Jesus reminds the disciples again that “no slave is greater than his master.” He foretells his followers what awaits them because they are his disciples. His fate is also their fate. It will not be easy but, in him, trials and difficulties gain new meaning. These are marks or signs of their union with the Master.
Persecutions are marks of being identified with Jesus who chose them and not with the world. Jesus was countercultural in his society. He witnessed to the Father’s truth and was rejected. Likewise, to witness to his values is to incur the disapproval of the world. Tribulation and hatred are the consequences of going against its opinions and ways. The world deals kindly with those who belong to it, while it persecutes those who belong to Christ. The path of following Jesus is a difficult one. Are we truly ready to follow him?
FIRST READING • Acts 16:1-10
Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, and Paul wanted him to come along with him. On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem. Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith and increased in number. They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them, so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.
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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.