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The world’s hatred

Gospel Reading: Jn 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.”

In the context of his destiny shared by his disciples, Jesus refers to the master-slave relationship. He is not suggesting here a master-slave relationship between him and the disciples. He has already made this clear: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father” (Jn 15:15). Deep friendship involves not just sharing things and thoughts but also destiny. Jesus and his disciples are united in an intimate bond such that the fate of Jesus is also the fate of his disciples. And the disciples will suffer in the degree they resemble Jesus.

Jesus has always been quite clear about the cost of discipleship, even as he has intimated the fate that awaits him because of his zeal for the Kingdom of God. In Jerusalem, the disciples would not be able to follow him “till the end” – but after the resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit, when they were being arrested and punished by the Sanhedrin, they were rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Jesus’ name (cf Acts 5:41).

On their wedding day, the groom and the bride promise to be faithful to each other “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”

Will you trust in the Lord through the ups and downs of life, in good times and in bad?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.