(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.”
Friends share a lot in common. Even their other friends and enemies are sometimes shared too. Ultimately, whatever your friends have will ultimately rub on you. That is why Jesus prepared His friends for the persecutions ahead that will happen. He knows that it is but a matter of time before the world will turn it attention towards His friends.
And so we are truly Jesus’ friends if we stand by Him at the cost of the world’s hatred. Standing by His Him in good times is not hard. The benefits sustain our goodwill. It’s the other way around when one feels the pinch of persecution because of one’s association with a particular friend. This is where options are made and what is important is identified. If we stand with Jesus, it is an act of faith. It is believing that no matter what happens here, the Lord’s promise of a good future remains fresh and valid.
Fr. Paulson, V. Veliyannoor, CMF