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Saturday, May 16, 1998

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Acts 16:1-10
Psalm 100
John 15:18-21

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the world war

"If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated Me before you." —John 15:18

Christians continue to be surprised that the world hates them. We may think that the world has changed since it rejected and crucified Jesus. Also, we may think that we're not enough like Jesus to be worthy of rejection and persecution. Nevertheless, we have been fundamentally changed by being baptized into Christ (see Rm 6:3). We have a new nature. As new creations (see Gal 6:15), we have been chosen out of the world by Christ (Jn 15:19). The world recognizes that we no longer belong to it. Therefore, it hates, persecutes, and tries to kill us (Jn 15:19-20; 16:2).

Although the world hates even lukewarm, sinful Christians, the Lord wants to give the world more reason to persecute us. The Lord wants to make us holy, to make us like Him. Then we are not just a potential threat to the world but we are an actual threat to turn it upside down (see Acts 17:6). Then the world feels compelled to persecute us immediately and vehemently.

Live your Baptism. Be a threat to the world. Be more worthy of being hated and persecuted by the world. Be holy. Be like Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, make me "worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name" of Jesus (Acts 5:41).

Promise:  "Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers." —Acts 16:5

Praise:  Diego lived for pleasure alone until he found Jesus. His daily Mass and prayer time now give him more happiness than he ever had before (see Ps 4:8).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997