Gospel: John 15:18-21
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.
“The servant is not greater than his master.”
The world hates the followers of Christ. The Christians should not be surprised because first of all it has hated to death Jesus Christ himself.
When Christians are given a hard time by worldly people, they should not complain. They should accept persecutions or rejections as part of their Christian life.
If Jesus was not spared of all these hostilities, they too will ex- perience the same fate. For they are not greater than their teacher. They are not more privileged or fortunate than their master.
This was already the feelings of the Johannine communities at the time of writing in the late 90s. Christians were obnoxious to the Roman society.
The first reading tells a diffe- rent story. The Christian missio- naries, like Paul and Timothy, suc- ceed in evangelizing work. They make converts. They are very much welcome in helping those in need in the Christian commu- nities they established.
History tells us that their con- verts too will be persecuted by the Roman authorities. Today church members are also perse- cuted because they speak against the abuses of the government officials and against unjust eco- nomic and political system.
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