5TH WEEK OF EASTER
Psalter: Week 1 / (White)
St. Bernardine of Siena, priest
Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 5
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
1st Reading: Acts 16:1-10
Paul traveled on, to Derbe and then to Lystra. A disciple named Timothy lived there, whose mother was a believer of Jewish origin but whose father was a Greek. As the believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him, Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him. So he took him and, because of the Jews of that place, who all knew that his father was a Greek, he circumcised him.
As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, for the people to obey. Meanwhile, the churches grew stronger in faith, and increased in number, every day.
They traveled through Phrygia and Galatia, because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
There, one night, Paul had a vision. A Macedonian stood before him and begged him, ”Come over to Macedonia and help us!” When he awoke, he told us of this vision; and we understood that the Lord was calling us, to give the Good News to the Macedonian people.
Gospel: Jn 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples: ”If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own. But you are not of the world, since I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you.
”Remember what I told you: the servant is not greater than his master; if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours as well. All this they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know the One who sent me.”
Friends share a lot in common. Even their other friends and enemies are sometimes shared too. Ultimately, whatever your friends have will ultimately rub on you. That is why Jesus prepared His friends for the persecutions ahead that will happen. He knows that it is but a matter of time before the world will turn its attention towards His friends.
And so we are truly Jesus‘ friends if we stand by Him at the cost of the world‘s hatred. Standing by with Him in good times is not hard. The benefits sustain our goodwill. It‘s the other way around when one feels the pinch of persecution because of one‘s association with a particular friend. This is where options are made and what is important is identified. If we stand with Jesus, it is an act of faith. It is believing that no matter what happens here, the Lord‘s promise of a good future remains fresh and valid.
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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