IF THE WORLD HATES YOU.
(Scripture Reflection John 15:18)"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
From time to time innovators create new trends: the Beatles ushered in a new kind of music; Picasso painted in a way that challenged earlier styles. Innovators question the existing order and are often seen as suspect. Jesus too challenged deeply held values and practices and had to pay with his life.
But often the new idea gains acceptance over a period of time and may become the new mainstream. Jesus was crucified for his Good News; but today, Christianity is a big part of world culture. Huge numbers of people call themselves Christian, and magnificent cathedrals proclaim that they are no longer a marginal band of disciples. Christianity is a major religion in our times.
Are we then to expect the opposition to end? Jesus cautioned his disciples that it would not be so (today’s Gospel). His teachings were so radical, his insistence on humility, mercy, selflessness and love of neighbour are still so counter to the culture of self-promotion and power-play, that a follower of Christ can always expect resistance from the world. A Francis of Assisi may be admired but is still seen as too outlandish to be emulated. And many saintly people will be persecuted, as Jesus was (Focus).
Fruit: As we struggle to understand and follow our Lord, we remember that his way is still a challenge to the world, and brace ourselves for opposition.