Daily Reflection for Monday, May 23, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 16:11-15
Responsorial: Psalm 149:1b-2,3-4,5-6a and 9b
Gospel: John 15:26-16:4a
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
I have told you this so that you may not fall away. John 16:1.
Today’s Gospel reading continues the final conversation Jesus has with his disciples before his crucifixion. He calls them friends and gives them his peace. (John 15:15). He asks them to remain in his love and he commands them to love one another. (John 15:12).
Loving one another runs counter to the ways of the world. Jesus tells his disciples that the world may hate them, just as the world hated him. If they do not fall away from Jesus and live according to his teachings, there will be some rough times ahead.
Jesus says his disciples will be expelled from the synagogues, as he had been. Jesus was expelled by the leaders of the Jewish faith and then beaten, whipped, nailed to a cross, and executed. Murdered by the “religious hierarchy” who justified his execution, with some claiming he was a possessed madman.
In John 12:42 we are told that “many, even among the [Jewish] authorities, believed in [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue.” Why would people be afraid to openly acknowledge their faith in Jesus? John 12:43 tell us: “they preferred human praise to the glory of God.” They didn’t want to take the risk.
Jesus was expelled from the synagogue because he spoke out against the establishment. His example, and his life ran counter to the status quo. In many ways, he was a radical for peace, love, and justice.
The apostles didn’t know during this final conversation, what was ahead for them, but they would soon learn. Would they prefer human praise? Would they risk being expelled from the synagogue? Would they have the courage to speak out?
Do I have the courage to take a risk and speak out or do I prefer human praise? As Martin Luther King, Jr. told us: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” I pray for the courage to not fall away from Jesus when challenged.
Peace and blessings,