Gospel: Jn 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples: ”If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own. But you are not of the world, since I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you.
”Remember what I told you: the servant is not greater than his master; if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours as well. All this they will do 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 its 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 with 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.