MAY 8. EASTER. Wk 5. Sat. Jn 15. 18-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
because my choice withdrew you from the world,
therefore, the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you:
A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.’
In this final discourse before his passion Jesus now turns his thoughts to the world, or more importantly, the values of the world around us, values that are almost totally opposed to the teachings and values of its creator.
“The World” is a topic that received far too little attention, given the influence it has on each and every one of us from the day we are born. There is hardly an educational institution in the world for example that does not encourage its students to “strive to be the best”, whereas Christ teaches us a totally different attitude to life: - “strive to be what God wants you to be!”
The difference between these two goals is Christ’s goal accommodates each and every one of us; - and emphasises the Wisdom and the Plans of God; - whereas the goal promoted by the world only caters for the “elite”, or those who are “successful”; - according to the world’s own standards and values.
And we need to listen to what Christ is teaching us on this subject, namely: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before it hated you!” What we are being told here is that the world is an enemy of Christianity; - as it “hates” or opposes Christ’s teachings, so the two traditions are incompatible; - a fact we all know from our own experience to be true.
Christ does not want to leave any room here for doubt or confusion, so his words are clear; - ‘If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, the world hates you!’
It is interesting to note at the end of this teaching, Christ gives us the reason for the different values being proposed by Christ and by the world when he says: “It will be on my account that they will do all this, because they do not know the one who sent me!’
The world does not believe because it does not know God; - “They do not know the one who sent me”, or, to put it another way; - they do not have Faith, so they do not believe!
And yet so many Christians fail to appreciate the GIFT they have been given in their Faith; - and as they do not value it, or care for it as they should, they tend to “maintain an interest” in the world’s values; - “overlooking” what Christ tells his followers; - “The world hates me!”
Gospel Acclamation Col3:1
If, then, you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.