Love is stronger than hate.

Those who have committed themselves to following Jesus must often find that love is pursued by hate. This is the sad consequence of original sin. People who hate God also hate those who try to live for God by love. It is not rare for love and goodness to be repaid with hatred.

Today’s Gospel speaks to this theme as well. The Lord Jesus wants to warn His beloved of something great. The apostles and all his brothers and sisters to the end of the world who fulfill his command of love in their lives. Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you” (Jn 15:18). And he will immediately explain why this hatred: ‘If you were of the world, the world would love what its own is, but because you are not of the world because I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you (Jn 15:19).

These words belong to the second part of the Lord Jesus’ farewell discourse at the Last Supper. And specifically, a discordant tone has crept into that message of love, by which he wants to prepare his apostles for the fact that although they will try to sow love around them, they will reap the hatred of the world in return for this effort because not all of them have Jesus as the leader in their lives. Those who don’t have him hate Jesus, and because his disciples belong to Christ, a wave of hatred similar to that of Christ himself will overtake them. Except that Jesus has chosen them out of the world, that is, out of the power of evil, they no longer belong to the world, and for this, the world knows how to take revenge, for the world loves only what is its, what does not transgress its boundaries, its principles, and its way of life.
Therefore, the world’s revenge for its friendship with Jesus is most often manifested in the persecution of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus draws their attention to this and, at the same time, wants to comfort them, to encourage them that the world has also repaid him in this way. At these words, the apostles begin to realize their union, their union with Christ, that they will have to suffer from Christ, but that they will also recognize the joy of the successes they will achieve in spreading the gospel of Jesus. Because many people will come to faith and believe in the Lord Jesus, the number of Christians will multiply.

Likewise, we must expect to avoid the hatred of the world because of the teachings of Jesus. Therefore, we must reckon with the world’s disfavor, we will experience humiliation, and we must even assess with persecution, for Christ’s sake. This is the tax that the Christian pays for his obedience and faithfulness to Christ. We must come to terms with this and not look for an escape route.

We realize that when confrontations with evil occur in our lives, this too is necessary for the Christian life. The history of the Church tells us of the countless multitude of those whom the world hated and had to lay down their lives for God.

We remember St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, whom the king has executed as an inconvenient man. We remember Pope Martin I, who guides the Church in difficult times, the boat of Peter. Although he had to sacrifice his own life, he did not betray. We remember George, who, as a soldier and commander, knows how to consider who is the superior officer and so prefers martyrdom.

But they did not all die a martyr’s death. We have a long line of confessors: Dominic Savio dies young, but he kept the password from the day he was at his first Holy Communion: Rather die than sin. St. Athanasius, the bishop, often had to face jokes, yet he prevailed. He remained faithful to Christ, even though he had to live in a cemetery for several months, etc… They are an example for us not to lose our serenity in difficulties and persevere faithfully in our duties. He who perseveres to the end will overcome.

Let us have no fear when the world hates us, for Christ’s sake. We are to thank the Lord Jesus that He has counted us worthy to bear witness to His teaching – LOVE.

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