The Lord offers a sobering lesson in John’s Gospel that when we follow the God’s command to love, the result at times will be hatred from the world. Our response? Love….but with both eyes open so that we can address this hatred with the grace of Jesus Christ.
The death of John the Baptist is an outrage, a stark example of human cruelty that assaults our sensibilities. While we acknowledge the presence of violence and hatred in our world we continue to see in the Cross of Christ God’s response: a love that embraces our sins.
The Lord speaks bluntly when he tells his disciples about the opposition they will encounter: hatred, persecution, suffering, and ridicule will follow them. And yet this opposition only highlights what’s truly at stake: eternal life!
Jesus lays it on the line in the Gospel of Matthew, that just as the disciples will be empowered to proclaim the Good News they will also face real opposition as well. As we offer our lives for the Lord may we call upon the grace we need when times get tough.