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Sts. Nereus & Achilleus
St. Pancras

Acts 16:1-10
Psalm 100:1-3, 5
John 15:18-21

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"The reason [the world] hates you is that you do not belong to the world." —John 15:19

Although the Lord loves the world and died to save it (Jn 3:16), the world hates Jesus and His followers (Jn 15:18-19). The world is the system that opposes or ignores the lordship of Jesus. Consequently, the Lord has chosen us out of the world (Jn 15:19).

God commands us to have no love for the world and the things that the world affords, such as the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:15-16, RSV-CE). If we are friends to the world, we have violated our relationship with the Lord and have spiritually committed adultery (Jas 4:4). If we are set on the things of the world, we are enemies of the cross of Jesus and will thereby "end in disaster" (Phil 3:18-19), for "the world with its seductions is passing away" (1 Jn 2:17).

The devil is the prince of the world (Jn 14:30), but we need not feel afraid nor discouraged. By His death and Resurrection, Jesus has overcome the world. He sends the Holy Spirit Who proves the world wrong (Jn 16:8). Jesus promised: "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33).

Prayer:  Father, the world hates those to whom Jesus has given His Word (Jn 17:14). This Easter season, consecrate me "by means of truth — 'Your word is truth' " (Jn 17:17).

Promise:  "No slave is greater than his master. They will harry you as they harried Me. They will respect your words as much as they respected Mine. All this they will do to you because of My name, for they know nothing of Him Who sent Me." —Jn 15:20-21

Praise:  St. Pancras was beheaded for his faith at age fourteen. "The just man, though he die early, shall be at rest" (Wis 4:7).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V-40A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011

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