Saturday, May 20, 2017
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God;
it is good to live in the friendship
of your Son Jesus Christ.
Make us realize that also in this love
we are committed to him and share with him
for better and for worse,
in misunderstanding and contradiction
as well as in joy and intimacy.
Help us to rejoice even when treated
with indifference or ridicule on account of him,
for it means that he is still with us
who is our Lord for ever.
2) Gospel Reading - John 15,18-21
Jesus said to his disciples: "If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well. But it will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me.
• John 15, 18-19: The hatred of the world. “If the world hates you, you must realize that it hated me before it hated you”. The Christian who follows Jesus is called to live in a way contrary to society. In a world organized according to the egoistic interests of persons and groups which seek to live and radiate the love which will be crucified. This was the destiny of Jesus. This is why when a Christian is very much praised by the power of this world and is exalted as a model for all by mass media; it is good not to trust too much. “If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you”. It was Jesus’ choice which separated us. And if we base ourselves on this gratuitous choice or vocation of Jesus we will have the force to suffer persecution and calumny and have joy, in spite of the difficulties.
• John 15, 20: The servant is not greater than his master. “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word they will keep yours as well”. Jesus had already insisted on this same point in the washing of the feet (Jn 13, 16) and in the discourse on the Mission (Mt 10, 24-25). And it is this identification with Jesus that, throughout the centuries, has given so much force to persons to continue the journey and has been a source of mystical experience for many saints and martyrs.
• John 15, 21: Persecution on account of Jesus. “But it will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me.” The repeated insistence of the Gospel in recalling those words of Jesus which can help the communities to understand the reason for the crisis and persecutions is an evident sign that our brothers and sisters of the first communities did not have an easy life. From the persecution of Nero after Christ up to the end of the first century, they lived knowing that they could be persecuted, accused, imprisoned and killed any moment. The force which sustained them was a certainty that Jesus communicated that God was with them.
4) Personal questions
• Jesus addresses himself to me and tells me: If you belonged to the world, the world would love what is yours. How do I apply this in my life?
• In me there are two tendencies: the world and the Gospel. Which of these two has the priority?
5) Concluding Prayer
For Yahweh is good,
his faithful love is everlasting,
his constancy from age to age. (Ps 100,5)