Facing persecution for the Gospel

Fr. Bernard Dashi Tang

Today, the Gospel notes how the world is opposed to the followers of Christ. “Because you are not of the world, it hated you” (Jn 15:19)."

What does Jesus mean when he says "You are not of this world?" 

The world in Scripture refers to that society of people who are hostile toward God and oppose his will. The world represents our sinful existence.

Consequently, one of the main characteristics of a follower of Christ is being against all evil and sin that is found in "the world" and in every person.

We, Christians, and the Church cannot follow the criteria of this world. Christ's criterion is unique, definitive, and unavoidable. It is one that we have to follow. 

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in Him” (1 John 2:15). 

We have to make a choice. We are either for or against God.
  
Often, society demands from us and from the Church changes that entail for us to move away from God. Christians, however, should be faithful to Christ and to his message. 

Quite often, in our lives, this fidelity may entail persecution. Jesus says: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too.” 

We should not be afraid of persecution; we should rather be afraid of not attempting strongly enough to always follow God's will. 

Persecution is something from which we should not run. We should not despair if it happens and we should not hold our head low.

Why? Because persecution is a clear sign that we are following the footsteps of our Master.  

Let us reflect today the forms of persecution or injustice we suffer for the sake of our faith and for embracing the Gospel.

Let us be brave and let us proclaim the Gospel without any fear of persecution because Christ is the resurrected one, light, and joy of all Christians! 

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to transform us so that we can inform the whole world about the resurrected one, Christ.