Page 138 - Lent2013j

Basic HTML Version

Saturday of the fifth week of Easter
Acts 16: 1-10
Psalm 100: 1B-2, 3, 5
John 15: 18-21
Jesus tells his disciples that if the world hates you,
realize that it hated me first, and if they persecuted
me, they will also persecute you.
The disciples travel into the communities to preach the message of God
and proclaim the Good News to the people. The psalm says to serve the
Lord with gladness, to know the Lord is God, and that he made us. How-
ever, in the Gospel, Jesus gives caution to the disciples that they may not
be received with belief and kindness. He tells them to remember they may
be persecuted, as he was persecuted, because those they preach to do not
yet know God.
I try to bring these teachings into the 21
century and into my daily living;
not an easy task. I have always been a believer, but have been a rather
timid disciple. I am sure I have never backed away or denied my faith, but
have I ever told anyone about Jesus in a strong enough manner to pro-
voke their hatred? Our Lord Jesus withstood it all as did His disciples and
many followers after them. Wherein comes that strength, and how do we
grow our faith to that level. We know that there are places in the world
today where hatred and persecution against our belief in Jesus Christ (and
our spreading the word of the Lord) exists. It may have entered my own
little comfort zone: I have had three long-time friends who claim to be
atheists, and I have never faltered in revealing to them my beliefs and why
I believe. In their later years, two have at least explored the existence of
God through reading and questioning, but the third will not bend, and she
even told me recently that she expressed hatred toward her brother for
trying to teach her about Billy Graham. This may be a modern-day test,