“Christ had adversaries and detractors, and would you have all to be your friends and benefactors? Whence will your patience be crowned if you meet with no adversity? If you suffer no contradiction how will you be a friend of Christ? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you desire to reign with Christ.” (IC 2,1,5) | “[Y]ou are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you…a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God” (Jn 8:37,40)

Christ promised adversity and detraction to His faithful followers.  One of the many benefits that comes with deep and sustained interior conversation with the Lord is the growth in patience and fortitude to see through these difficulties without compromising the truth regardless of personal consequences (see Mk 10:29-30 and Lk 6:22).  Kempis tells us here (2,1) that if Christ suffered these things who are we to think that we can (or should) avoid them (“Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’” — Jn 15:20).

Once again, in today’s Gospel proclamation (Jn 8:31-42), Jesus contends with the Jews.  Unlike the usual back and forth with the Pharisees (with whom He sparred immediately before this episode) and other religious leaders, this crowd were “those Jews who believed in him” (v.31).  So why does Jesus accuse those who believe in Him of trying to kill Him?  How strong was their belief, really?  Jesus challenges their preconceptions and ours.  He  also knew of the abandonment that would be His at the time of His death.

Jesus knew what was coming to Him.  So do we.  Are we going to our deaths not adhering to the truth?  Do we leave space for compromising the truth in ourselves or in our dealing with others (Rev 3:15-16)?  Will we also abandon Christ?  Is there room for the Word and His words (all of them) in us (see Jn 16:13)?

If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, Then Why Don't Most Jews Believe ...

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