Jesus warns His men they will face hatred and persecution by those who hate God. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Virtue of Faith so he can completely submit to God and by cultivating the Virtue of Gratitude so he can joyfully thank God for helping him grow in holiness.
5th Week of Easter – Saturday – Jn 15:18-21
Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. He now warns of the persecution that comes to those who proclaim His Gospel, preparing the Apostles, and all Catholic men, for the Spiritual Combat.
In Jesus’ revelation of the world’s hatred, He confirms rampant sin has plagued mankind since the seduction of Satan in the Garden. Satan, and those who follow him, hate God (“it hated me before it hated you”), hate the Kingdom of Heaven, and hate every Catholic man who proclaims the full truth of the Gospel of Christ. Because Jesus has chosen and sends His Catholic men to build His Kingdom, Satan and his many evil slaves in the world will hate Catholic men.
To help the Apostles grasp their own coming persecution, Jesus reminds them of the persecution He will face in the Passion. Since the Apostles are inferior to Him, slaves of the Master, they too will be persecuted by those who reject Christ’s word. Steeling the Apostles against discouragement or pride, Jesus affirms the Apostles’ persecution is actually directed at Jesus and His Word; the disciples will only be persecuted because they represent the King and His commandments. The persecution of Jesus and His disciples is ultimately targeted at God the Father by those who reject the Father out of ignorance or rebellion. Jesus confirms the guilt of mortal sin of those who have witnessed His preaching and miracles, a terrifying warning to those who willfully reject Jesus, even today.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel that Jesus, the Divine Prophet, accurately predicts the hatred and rebellion against God the Father and the persecution of His men across the millennia: Satan, hated and rebelled against God the Father before the dawn of man; each of Jesus’ Apostles, the “fathers of the Church”, will be persecuted, and all but John will be martyred; today, God the Father, and the legitimate and essential role of fathers to be leaders of their families and in society, is increasingly mocked, and even the idea of “patriarchy” is stigmatized as oppressive and outdated.
Live your Faith by completely submitting to God
Realize: If a Catholic man desires salvation, he, like the Apostles and every saint on earth and in Heaven, must be a slave of Jesus, the Master; he must be a man who lives to carry out the will of God in all areas of his life.
Believe: Reflect upon the essential need for complete Submission to God (CCC 154, 342, 396, 1955).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me grow in the Virtue of Faith so I trust and more fully submit to Your will, in all my thoughts, words and actions.
Joyfully thank God for helping you seek holiness
Realize: It is only by the grace of Jesus Christ that a man can come to faith and do anything that has any merit in the sight of God; there are no self-made Catholics, only God-made Catholics, for the merit of every Catholic man only comes when he simply receives, accepts, and responds to God’s graces and allows God to work through him.
Believe: Refresh your understanding of Justification, Grace, Merit, and Holiness (CCC 1987-2029).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Gratitude, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I recognize my extreme spiritual poverty, give thanks that I am justified by Your saving Passion, and am always grateful for the Grace of Your Charity that allows me to grow in holiness and receive merit.