First reading Acts 16:1-10

‘Come across to Macedonia and help us’

From Cilicia Paul went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra. Here there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess who had become a believer; but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy, and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
  As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to respect them.
  So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
  They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, having been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia. When they reached the frontier of Mysia they thought to cross it into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them, they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
  One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and appealed to him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’ Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the Good News.

Responsorial Psalm 99(100):1-3,5

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
  Serve the Lord with gladness.
  Come before him, singing for joy.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
  He made us, we belong to him,
  we are his people, the sheep of his flock.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
  eternal his merciful love.
  He is faithful from age to age.


Gospel John 15:18-21

The world hated me before it hated you

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If the world hates you,
remember that it hated me before you.
If you belonged to the world,
the world would love you as its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
because my choice withdrew you from the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too;
if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
But it will be on my account that they will do all this,
because they do not know the one who sent me.’

To go against the current and live the gospel values

Are we serious about following Jesus? If we are, we must then be ready
to face rejection and hostility in the same way Jesus did. In today’s
gospel, Jesus warned His disciples, “If the world hates you, you must
realise that it hated me before it hated you…”. Today, He continues to
tell us the same. The “world” refers to those who do not hold the gospel
values of peace, forgiveness, justice and compassion. We might not be
facing persecution in the places where we are. However, we can still be
afraid to go against the current and make an opinion that others do not
like. Thus, it is easier to keep our heads down and be quiet.
“…you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn
you out of the world, that is why the world hates you”. Jesus has chosen
us to be His disciples who dare to bear witness to Him today. Let us be
grounded once more in our friendship with Jesus so that our lives may
reflect His loving presence.
Question for reflection:
Am I ready to stand up for Christ?
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.