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.
— John 15:18-21
The peace of the Lord be with you. Being a follower of Jesus is glorious in so many ways, but as Jesus tells us today it will also be difficult at times. The reason for the difficulty is that everyone does not believe in God. A lot this has nothing to do with God, but things people encounter in their lives that make it difficult and painful to trust what they can see, never mind what they cannot see.
Despite the root cause, the differing viewpoints between believer and non believer leads to a division that can cause friction. Jesus tells us not to take this personally — it is part of what happens living in a fallen world. While I certainly do not know what Jesus had in mind when left us these words, I do believe accepting this warning can be helpful to us. Accepting that there will be division and that it is not personal, protects us from becoming bitter, frustrated, resentful, and discouraged. The problem is much too complex for us as individuals and even as human family to solve. We are not called to solve this problem; we are called to listen, discern, and carry out our specific role in God’s solution. Isn’t that a relief. Find our one thing and do that thing well and with love.
Heavenly Father, through the gift of your Son and the guidance of the Holy Spirit help us to listen, discern, and carry out our work today — that in the fullness of time all people, places, and things may live in union with you again. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.