Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter

John 15:18-21

The World’s Hatred


During last war, some eight million Jews were hunted by the Nazis in many countries like: Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium and Holland. Men and women, children, even the very old were herded like cattle into freight trains and carried to the great concentration camps. They were stripped naked and forced into sealed rooms which were really ovens and put to death. Then their bodies were thrown into open pits and covered with earth in mass graves.

Jesus in today’s gospel warns us when He said: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Jesus’ warning to His disciples emphasizes that pain will be part of life. Suffering is part of human existence. Thus, we should not pray for an easy life. Instead, we pray to become stronger persons in facing the challenges of life and bring out the best that God has given us! (Rev. Teddy B. Abas, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


A shipwrecked sailor who had spent three years on a deserted island was overjoyed one day to see a ship drop anchor in the bay. A small boat came ashore and an officer handed the sailor a bunch of newspapers. “The captain suggests,” he told the sailor, “that you read what is going on in the world and then let us know if you want to be rescued.”

Choosing to follow Jesus is never to isolate oneself in an island to be freed from persecutions, ridicules, trials and difficulties. Following Jesus means to be ever ready to face the challenges that await one in a world of chaos and constant insecurities. One has to remain in the world to transform the world with Jesus. One has to carry His cross if one honestly commits himself to Jesus. A life with Jesus is not a bed of roses. It is not a choice to remain unaffected by what is happening in the world but to embraces the realities around him while holding on to Jesus. The gospel clearly is a warning to those who want to follow Jesus to be ready with the world, but also with His assurance that a committed faith will have its just reward. Real followers of Jesus, who believe and trust Him, do not get lost as they are doubly protected. And should they lose their way, they are searched and saved as long as they ‘will’ to be. (Fr. Jojo Caballes, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” When Jesus talked of persecutions, He was referring to the sufferings and persecutions His disciples would undergo at the hands of the Jews and the Romans in proclaiming His teachings.

Today, except in hostile, totalitarian non-Christian countries the persecutions referred to by the Lord are no longer felt. In day-to-day life these may take the form of being ostracized in the place where one works or being a victim of unjust treatment.

The “persecutions” could also be the sufferings one goes through from overly strict parents or wife from an overbearing husband. Take the example of a woman complaining about her husband who tended to strict and rigid because of his upbringing and profession as a colonel in the military. As he grew older, the more difficult and unbearable his habits were. Her cup of suffering overflowed when he retired from service and had to put up with him even more!

How should a Christian face such sufferings and persecutions? A follower of Christ should not be fatalistic or escapist. He should not just take them lying down. If he can do something to remedy the problem, by all means he should do it.

Perhaps he should also look into himself if he might be a part of the problem. If, however, it’s beyond his control, then he should consider it as the cross which a disciple has to carry in following his master. In Jesus’ words: “No slave is greater than his master.”

When we suffer pains and persecutions beyond our control, do we indulge in self-pity or even throw up our arms and quit? Or do we find meaning amidst our pains, making us more mature and stronger in faith and hope? (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


There once a despondent man who complained to his mother, “I’ve stopped going to church for two reasons: I don’t like the people and the people don’t like me.”

The mother gazed at him and consoled him, saying: “My son, go back to church; I’’ give you also two reasons why: first, you are already 60 years old and you are the parish priest.”

Poor padre, he must have suffered a lot from his parishioners.

In today’s gospel, Jesus declares: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” When he talked of persecutions, he was referring to the persecutions his disciples would suffer at the hands of the Jews and Romans in proclaiming His teachings.

Today, however, except in hostile, totalitarian non-Christian countries the persecutions referred to by the Lord take on different forms. Persecutions could be a suffering from a strict and overbearing spouse, of being ridiculed for actively serving the church or laughed at for being outmoded or for being a faithful husband.

There are those in parish organizations and religious communities who quit or “lie low” because they had been unjustly treated or hurt by criticisms or nasty remarks. They sure have good reasons to do it. However a steadfast faith should help them recover and not isolate themselves for good.

When the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked by a journalist if she didn’t feel like quitting from her difficult work ministering to the poorest of the poor, her answer was: “I was called not to be successful but to be faithful.”

What was important for the “saint of the gutters” and a good Christian is not so much to experience consolations and successes but to walk in faith no matter what happens.

Ask yourself: “When there are trials and persecutions, do you think of giving up or holding on in faith? Do you believe that true discipleship entails following Christ who says: “If the persecuted me, they will also persecute you?” (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


April 30, 2016 Saturday

Many well-intentioned people with high ideals start well with their projects. However, their plans begin to crumble as soon as they succumb to their unrecognized and overwhelming need to be accepted, loved, and belong. We all want to be needed and to belong, to seek recognition and acceptance. Problems and difficulties can be hurdled if we experience acceptance and love. We thrive in an atmosphere where we feel accepted and loved. The contrary will make us very anxious and depressed. In the Gospel reading for today we see how this desire to be accepted and to belong can be lived to an extreme, subverting the Gospel value. When we want to belong to the world, to be accepted by everyone, to please others, at the expense of being true to the call of Jesus to remain focused on Him, we compromise, we cut corners, make “palusot.” Initially it feels good to be accepted by everyone. Eventually we get tired trying to please everyone. When we live with what and how others de ne us we get fragmented, we lose our identity we become everyman or every person, a nobody. On the other hand, if our actions are the expressions of who we are in our deepest self, where we experience God’s intimate affirmation, then we will never get tired of living from that place. Jesus said, “I have chosen you out of the world”. That is the root of our strength to overcome our need to be needed by people around us. That is the place where Jesus is in our lives!

If all our choices come from that place, we will always feel con dent no matter how seductive other options are. (Fr. Melchor Bernal, SVD CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary)


My Reflection for Saturday May 24, Fifth Week of Easter; John 15:18-21: Reflection: How could we be hated by this world? We would be hated by this world when we don’t conform to its many dictates. For example, when we avoid the company of those people who do no good what they always do is to satisfy their cravings for this world. They would slowly label us as killjoy or somebody who doesn’t belong to this world. If this is the case then by all means let us not be afraid to be hated by this world.

What does this world offer us? Happiness, riches, sin, sickness and after which it offers us death. And after death or even while we are sick this world will not anymore matter to us what will matter now is our faith and love for Jesus. What if we have no faith, we don’t love Jesus and we perpetually commit sin while we are in this world?

Jesus discourse with HIS disciples is an eye opener for all of us, for it gives us insights about the mind of Jesus. HIS mind is not conformed to this world as how the mindset of many of us are conditioned to this world.

Jesus teachings are always contradicting the dictates of this world and this is quite hard to accept for many of us. Why? For the reason that we are starting to love this world more than we love Jesus. And this is very dangerous, what will happen to us if we love this world more than we love Jesus? What will happen to us if our joy and happiness are all based on this world?

We walk on this world barren and empty.  (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


GRAPE IN A BLENDER: “I have chosen you out of the world — therefore, the world hates you.” – John 15:19

I’m staring at a poster of a ripped, tanned surfer dude cruising down the face of a ginormous, perfectly tubular, aquamarine wave. “Only a surfer knows the feeling,” preaches the poster. “Take a good look,” I tell myself, full of confidence. “That’s gonna be you!”

Fast forward to my first solo surf: I am a grape in a blender. No, I am laundry in a washing machine. I’m swallowing a liter of salt water. I’m hitting the ocean floor. I am bruised. I am in pain. I am coming to the surface. I am gasping for air. I am alive… Yes, I am alive.

This is why I have never stopped going to the ocean. Never had I understood the beauty of a struggle as I did when I learned to surf. Surfing has taught me that the elements will beat you down and your limitations will humble you, but in that moment of glory — that perfect ride — you know all the difficulty was worth it.

Jesus reminds us that difficulty in life is a given. When you face your biggest challenge, will you run away, or will you meet it head on? Kiddo Cosio (

Reflection: “I thank the Lord that, even though things were so wrong in my life here, I finally was brought to the realization of what all those struggles were about. There are some wonderful things from your painful past, things with a beauty you may not have realized at the time.” (Ravi Zacharias)

Dear God, help me to have courage, because You have overcome the world.


1ST READING: Paul is like a traveling salesman but the Gospel he sells is free of charge. When his journeys are traced on a map, we see that he covered an enormous amount of ground. God only knows what might have happened if Paul had lived in the age of flying. How many more communities he might have established… Well, this is our responsibility now. Paul did what he could in his time; it is up to each of us to do what we can in our time. Acts 16:1-10

GOSPEL: If Christ was persecuted and suffered, then those who become His disciples are almost certainly going to receive something of the same. Why should we expect to avoid suffering associated with the life and ministry of Jesus? In fact, we should expect it and embrace it with joy when it comes, knowing that God will use our suffering for the benefit of the Gospel. John 15:18-21

think: God will use our suffering for the benefit of the Gospel.


STRUGGLING TO REMAIN TRUE TO GOD: There is a great danger in the prosperity gospel movement. It fails to recognize that suffering, in one form or another, will always be present even, and perhaps more so, in the lives of the holiest of Christians. We cannot escape suffering. If you study the lives of the mystics of the Church, you will discover that they all underwent quite significant levels of suffering — physical, emotional or psychological.

The prosperity gospel says that a person with faith in God should experience only blessing and wealth in their lives. Any suffering or poverty is simply due to a lack of faith. This is far too simplistic. It forgets the fundamental truth of Christ’s passion and death, to start with. And, practically speaking, there is no convincing argument to support the claim. On the contrary, all the evidence is in the other direction.

One of the most evident features of prosperity gospel churches is the youthfulness of the congregation. Once a person starts getting old, and sickness becomes more prevalent, they begin to realize that the premises of the prosperity gospel thinking are fundamentally flawed and they drop out and return to the real world. It is very clear from the Scriptures that while suffering was not in God’s plan from the beginning, He certainly has not wiped it out when He raised Jesus from death.

St. Paul talks about suffering for the sake of the Gospel. The saints talk about suffering for the sake of the Gospel. And Blessed John Paul II chose to continue on as pope even though he was greatly debilitated by his physical illness, at least in part to convey a message that suffering does not have to be totally useless or evil. God can bring something good out of it. Indeed, suffering offered in intercession for a particular need is very powerful. Blessed John Paul II clearly demonstrated that suffering can be turned to good, both in many of his writings and also in the witness of his life. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you going through some suffering right now? How do you look at it? Do you see something good out of it?

Holy Spirit, help me to embrace any suffering that comes to me. I know that in joining it to the sufferings of Christ in His passion and death, it can be redemptive.


THE TRUTH HURTS – If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. – John 15:18

I know a medical doctor who serves in the Commission on Family and Life Apostolate in our diocese. She usually gives talks and seminars against the Reproductive Health law, exposing the truth that it paves the way for laws on divorce, euthanasia, abortion, contraception and homosexual unions. Her advocacy has resulted to persecution and maltreatment that detrimentally affected her reputation and career. Even friends and colleagues rejected her since she began this pastoral mission.

But despite the negative consequences that has brought her embarrassment and pain, she perseveres in this service. I’m impressed with her strength and faith, and it has inspired me to join this ministry.

My friend, you might be despised because of the rightful things that you do. Be strong and take courage. Don’t be disheartened in what you are doing. As long as it is upright and according to God’s ways, you and your loved ones will be blessed because you share the cross of Jesus Christ. Dho Rimando(dougsterrimando@

Pope Francis Says: “The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness.”

Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (Serenity Prayer)


CHRISTIANS WILL BE PERSECUTED – When we are persecuted because we are living out our Christian beliefs, it means that we are doing the right thing. Jesus is very clear that the world will not accept the Gospel and it is up to us to persevere in incarnating its values and truths. The Church was born in the blood of literally thousands of martyrs in the first three centuries of the Gospel’s proclamation. It is remarkable to think that a message responsible for the spilling of so much blood was persevered with for so long before it was accepted. What is it in the Gospel that inspires such faithfulness and devotion?

The simple answer to this question is that the Gospel is the truth about God’s love for His people, and truth has an inherent power to command sacrifice from those who accept it. This is precisely where we are at today. We live in a world becoming increasingly hostile to the Church’s doctrinal and moral teachings to the point that there could be significant persecution of Christians, even in parts of the world that, until recently, were virtually Christian countries. If the moral and doctrinal teaching of the Church is going to remain constitutive of societal norms and mores, then it is going to require Christians to stand firm according to the beliefs and teachings of the Church.

All over the Western world, there are concerted efforts to destroy the institution of Church marriage that has served society faithfully since the beginning of human civilization. Moral relativism is perhaps the greatest danger that society faces as it is far more insidious than violence. Moral relativism appeals to the modern mind as it exalts the individual over any sense of the common good. Every individual’s understanding is given the same weight.

Christians are called upon today to defend moral truths that are unchanging because they rest in the will of God and are built in our human nature. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Have you experienced a time when a discussion with others has included challenging moral norms that were universally accepted a couple of generations ago? What was your response?

Holy Spirit of truth, help me to form my mind in the ways and truth of God. Help me to learn how to defend my Christian beliefs at all times. Amen.


The Master and the Slave

May 9, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Father Patrick Langan, LC

John 15: 18-21

Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for granting me the opportunity to be with you. There are things in life, Lord, that attract me, but you attract me more. I hope in you, and I love you. Maybe I don’t really understand what it means to love, and maybe I don’t love the way I should, but I do love you.

Petition: Lord, help me to embrace my cross joyfully.

  1. Bearing the Burden:“The world hated me first.” This is the incredible story of the Gospels. Christ came and the culture was against him. As the story of Christ in the Gospel progresses, the forces of antagonism get worse: The dangers increase with the turning of every page. This was a real burden for Christ, the burden of a parent whose children turn against him. Perhaps I, too, feel that burden. Perhaps I experience that rejection from those who love me or from those who don’t believe.
  2. Loving Acceptance:Christ courageously and lovingly accepted that burden. He did not complain. Perhaps he asked his Father for an easier way. It is the same in our lives. I often face problems, even when I want to do good. There comes a moment in life when I must accept my limitations and the limitations imposed on me by others. This is a memorable moment in life—the moment I accept my cross, like Christ did. That acceptance isn’t easy, but at the same time it fills my heart with a deep peace and sometimes even joy.
  3. Seeking Solutions:After I accept my cross, I experience a new courage, and my imagination fires up. Love always looks for solutions: Christ never stopped searching for ways to get through to the culture. I must do the best I can to evangelize, even though I may encounter opposition. With Christ’s help, no obstacle is too great. He will help me to overcome all the problems I may encounter. The important thing is that I keep focused on the fulfillment of his will out of love. He will take care of the rest.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know my burden. You know what makes me lose sleep, what I wake up worrying about. Help me to accept it, as you accepted your cross.

Resolution: I will stop complaining and see what I can do to alleviate the burdens and sufferings of others.


SATURDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK OF EASTER (YEAR B) – JUAN 15:18-21. KINSA MAN ANG NANAG-IYA KANATO, ANG KALIBOTAN O ANG GINOO? Ang mga tawo nga gipanag-iya sa kalibotan mao sila nga wala nay laing gihunahuna kondili ang pagpangita og kwarta, pag-angkon og mga materyal nga butang, ug pagsiguro sa kaugalingong kaayohan. Ang mga kalibotanon walay panahon sa Dios ug walay pagpakabana sa kahimtang sa mga kabos. Sa laing bahin, ang mga tawo nga gipanag-iya sa Ginoo maampoon ug manggihunahunaon sa isigkaingon. Magtrabaho sila ug magnegosyo, apan para kini sa kaayohan sa pamilya ug katilingban. Dili nila isakripisyo ang panahon para sa Ginoo ug dili nila ibaylo sa kwarta ang ilang moral nga prinsipyo. Sila ang gipasabot ni San Pablo sa iyang pag-ingon: “No height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Posted by Abet Uy


Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Saturday, April 30

Acts 16: 1-10; Jn 15: 18-21

You Are not of This World

What does Jesus mean when he says “you are not of this world”?  The “world” in the scriptures refers to that society of people who are hostile towards God and opposed to his will.  The “world” rejected Jesus and his disciples can expect the same treatment. Jesus leaves no middle ground for his followers. We are either for him or against him, for his kingdom of light or for the kingdom of darkness.

Prophet Isaiah warned that human beings separated from God by sin and spiritual darkness would end up calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).  How can we rightly distinguish good from evil? The love of God draws us to all that is lovely, true and good.  If we truly love God then we will submit to his truth.

A friend of God cannot be expected to be a friend of the world. Jesus’ demand is unequivocal and without compromise. ‘Do not love the world or the things of the world… If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him’ (1 John 2:15).

We must make a choice either for or against God. Do you seek to please God in all your thoughts, actions, and relationships? Let the Holy Spirit inflame your heart with the love of God.

Jesus has been urging his disciples to love all those around them as a sign of their love of him. Today he warns them that there is no guarantee that they will be loved in return. If the world hated such a loving person as Jesus so bitterly, his disciples cannot expect to be treated any better.

And the reason they will be hated is because they will refuse to identify themselves with the values and priorities of the secular world. They will reject materialistic greed and competition, the scramble for status and power, hatred, anger, violence and revenge which mark so many people’s lives.

The most terrible thing to happen to Christians is to be loved by that world; it is a sign they have become part of it. “No,” says Jesus, “I chose you out of the world.” Once again he reminds them that the servant is not greater than his master. “They will persecute you as they persecuted me. They will respect your words as much as they respected mine.”

It is also tragic when we find hate and division within our own community, which can be a major source of scandal to outsiders. And of course, all through the history of the Church there have been sinful behaviors/events at all levels. We should not be surprised at that but it is particularly reprehensible when it goes on behind a veneer of moral superiority – the white washed sepulchers that Jesus speaks about. When such things happen, we know we have really failed the Gospel. Fr Shepherd Thelapilly CMI


April 30, 2016 


When the first man landed on the moon in 1969 and took a first step on that planet, those who watched this momentous event on television understood that this particular step on the lunar surface was one which changed history forever. With that step, the exploration of space was launched—and only God knows where it will lead to.

In today’s first reading something as momentous is being described. For, if we look at a map, we will see what that reading is telling us. It is telling us that the Holy Spirit prevented Paul from making a detour through the Roman province called Asia and from going north to the province of Bithynia. We have the distinct impression here that the Spirit is putting Paul on a direct route to—EUROPE! Until then Paul had always limited his apostolate to what we call today the Near East. But the Spirit wants the Gospel to reach the whole world, and that means for Paul to cross over to Macedonia, a province of Greece, a part of Europe. That decision of Paul changed the face of history—and, through it all, it was the Holy Spirit who was gently guiding him. Do we trust that the same Spirit can also guide our lives towards greatness?


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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