"In 1848, I realized that if I wanted to get anywhere in doing some good, I had to put politics aside. From then on, I always shied away from politics and managed to do good without interference. In addition, I found help where I least expected it." – St John Bosco
(Gospel text: 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.”
The gospel today reminds of the following prayer attributed to Mother Teresa:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend your years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
I think this prayer is calling us to live as our genuine selves despite what others may say. Even when we are using our gifts and talents to live out God’s will, we may not receive the support or acknowledgment from others, but that does not mean we should stop living who God made us to be. As a reflection for today, let us think about the gifts that we have and how we are using them to create the Kingdom on Earth.