Saturday, May 9, 2015

Persecution is an enemy the Church has met and mastered many times.

"All past persecutors of the Church are now no more, but the Church still lives on. The same fate awaits modern persecutors; they, too, will pass on, but the Church of Jesus Christ will always remain, for God has pledged His Word to protect Her and be with Her forever, until the end of time." – 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.”

Neither Christians nor the Church can follow the passing fads or criteria of this world. Christ's criterion is unique, definitive and an unavoidable one for us to follow. It is not up to Jesus to adapt himself to the world where we live; it is up to us instead to transform our lives after Jesus. «Christ is the same one whether yesterday, today or always». This should make us wonder. When our secularized society demands from us and from the Church certain changes or licenses, we are simply being asked to be moved away from God. We, Christians, however, should be faithful to Christ and to his message. Saint Ireneus says: «God does not need anything; but man needs to be in permanent communion with God. And man's glory lies in persevering and always keep in God's service».

This fidelity may, quite often, mean persecution: «If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too» (Jn 15:20). We should not be afraid of persecution; we should rather be afraid of not attempting strongly enough to always do God's will. Let's all be brave and let us proclaim without any fear Christ resurrected, light and joy! Leave it to the Holy Spirit to transform us so that we can be used to transform the world.

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