“I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world.”

The gospel reading for today continues the high priestly prayer of Jesus (Jn 17:11b-19).  He continues to pray for His disciples that they may be one and that they be protected from the devil as they suffer hate in this life because of the Word.  He asks that they be consecrated in the truth as He sends them out into the world.  If the world hated Jesus and His disciples while Jesus was still walking the face of the earth, might we not expect that that despising of His message would not continue and grow as the Church expanded?  Knowing all this would happen, and realizing that the prince of this world would always be on the prowl “looking for [someone] to devour” (1 Pt 5:8), the Lord sent them out anyway.  He continues to call for this same witness today as He has done in ages past and will do in future days until the end of time.  So we should not be surprised, nor should we shrink in our duty, if we are reviled for speaking the truth and defending it boldly and firmly.  As with the first disciples, Jesus wants us to be consecrated in the truth.  Let us read the scriptures, seek to understand our Faith, and invoke the Holy Spirit that we may be guided in all truth.  Then, when persecution comes, we may, like the apostles, “rejoic]e] that [we] had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name” (Acts 5:41).

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