Bible Event – Jesus’ Life
The word hatred or hate conjures up many powerful feelings; anger, disgust and even violent hostility. Hatred is described as a deep and emotional extreme dislike, directed against individuals or other. (Wikipedia)
It must have come as a great surprise to the Apostles when, at the Last Supper, Jesus switched from talking about, love for him as he loved his Father, to hatred. Jesus said to them, “If the world hates you, realise that it hated me first”. Remember, He said, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my word, they will obey yours too”.
Jesus was preparing the Apostles for the hatred that awaited them after his death. The words he previously used when he sent them out to heal and preach, must have been ringed in their ears: “I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves”. (Matthew 16:10)
The world hated Jesus so much that it despised, rejected and crucified Him; a torturous and painful death. Jesus’ greatest disappointment was the rejection of his teachings.
Every day, on every continent, Christians are still persecuted for expressing their faith. Sometimes the outcome is rejection by their community or physical punishment. On others, people pay with their lives – they are martyred.
Pope Emeritus Benedict once said, “Often, we are so full of ourselves that there is no room left for God. And that means there is no room for others either, for children, for the poor, for the stranger” – and for the faithful. (John 15:18-25)
Hatred comes from the heart. If we allow it to fester in our thoughts, malice and a desire to do injustice follows. Praying to the Holy Spirit is our defence. If we increase our time for God, we will have more time for love and the more love we give, the more loving we become.
Lord Jesus, make me as loving as you were when you were a child. Soften my heart to the daily hatred that surrounds me. Instil in me a love for everyone, even my enemies, as I live and preach your Gospel.
Prayer: The Service of the Poor
Make us worthy, Lord,
to serve our brothers and sisters throughout the world,
who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them, through our hands,
this day their daily bread,
and by our understanding love,
give them peace and joy.
Make us, Lord,
worthy to serve our brothers and sisters,
scattered all over the world,
who live and die alone and poor.
Give them today, using our hands, their daily bread.
And, using our love, give them peace and happiness. Amen.