“Let us not be weakened by the worldly spirit
but live Christian life coherently,
without giving in or compromising.”
I’m probably going to offend some good parish leaders with this post, so if you suspect you might be about to upset stop reading here and skip today’s FFF post.
But what I’m about to say is quoting Pope Francis, and the pope is quoting Jesus.
Many of our parishes and Christian communities put a lot of energy and effort into being attractive, inviting and inclusive places. But in order to achieve this goal, the truth of the message of Jesus is too often compromised.
The method Jesus uses to share the life of faith and invite people into relationship is one of uncompromising truth-telling. We can think of many examples when Jesus says and does unpopular things because he understands that good news cannot be compromised and people have an inner attraction towards truth.
This means that many people choose to leave Jesus and even turn against him. But Jesus, while choosing his timing, not “throwing pearls before swine” and “shaking the dust from his feet” as he leaves an unwelcoming village, knows that the path to abundant life must pass through underserved suffering, and feelings of abandonment and betrayal to death even by crucifixion.
Jesus puts it clearly in today’s gospel reading saying to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realise 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.”
The strange thing is that during the periods of history when Christians were seen to live without being weakened by a worldly spirit, living coherently without giving in or compromising, people were attracted to the community of faith. I’m not speaking of the reduction of faith to moralism and legalism that too often masks as healthy religion, but faith as lived by people like St. Francis of Assisi and St Teresa of Calcutta.
The evidence is that it only takes one person living whole-heartedly and uncompromisingly in relationship with Jesus Christ to begin a movement of renewal in the world.
And the experience of the one is that they realise immediately that even though they are facing persecution and opposition, they are happier than ever before and know they are finally living the adventure of human life fully.
Today, be that one person.
- Take a moment to ask Jesus which part of the reflection above is his word for you today.
- Pray to Sleep (a ten minute bedtime audio reflection) at this link.
- Today’s readings at this link.
- Send your prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to this list. Take a moment, perhaps 15 seconds, to pray in whatever way you choose for those whose initials appear below, and don’t hesitate to send repeat requests for prayer.
Let us pray today (Saturday) especially for: CM, OP, GC, GS, ES, MLAH, CS, HC, DC, DU, DMC, FTM, JS, SD, MD, CM, TD. MM, ZM, LM, SD, JD, LD, AD. DC, ME,, CE, KC, LC, BC, KC, BC,
Waiting for heart replacement. Daughter due to have hysterectomy but delayed by Covid. Uncle, husband ex-husband and dad who is in his final days. Pray for my daughter who has just got pregnant after months and months of trying to conceiveSearching for a new job that enables me to have a healthier life/work balance.Please pray for my healing from a lifetime of trauma and addiction. I have been sober for 11 years but only recently did more work to find emotional sobriety. Also my adult daughter’s mental illness and addiction journey And my wee granddaughter aged 6 who has ADHD and auditory processing disorder. Needing strength to find employment and keep my home for us. Husband recovering from bowel cancer surgery – now further scan needed on lungs. Other family members recovering from surgery. In thanksgiving as a 73 year old with many positives in lockdown. Prayer is for my hard working nurse daughter to understand that God and medicine are not in opposition with each other. To break down the barriers she has erected and for faith to believe. Please help me pray for a new job, as it’s hard for me not to have one. I have a family of four, small enough, but we’re struggling with the payment of bills, especially the rent, which takes the highest share of the income.
Friday: LS (RIP), AR, TT, BP, MP, PP, GTD (RIP2015), PB, LM, JK, MK, TJO, LB, DD, JRA, FL, JU, SLJ. SLJ. JJJ. MPJ, JPM, MLFJ, MD,
Thursday: SLJ, JJJ, RM, SJ, SF, SLJ, JS, FS, MD, GPD, JMC, AM & I, MS, MC, MR, JCP, MON, SS, MS, OD, ND, CD, JD, JD & KJ, EJH, ARO,
Wednesday: JS, FS, SF, GJG (RIP), JDG, MD, CGW, SD, TK, JK, RF, GN, OP, GC, TN, MC, KJ, SL, AN,
Tuesday: JMT, KJ, MD, PM, MC, DP, KD, AD, BA, RF, MC, PR, JH, GPB,
Monday: AD, NF, PR, GPB, BA, MA (RIP), LM, SB, MO’D, S&SW, DMcA, SS, VM, PM, NM,
Last week: BB, BR, RM, IW, BL, AM, JM, SM, JH, CSL, BS, AW, MR, SR, JC, LR, JF, AB, AB, MB, CB, LJ, AF, JB, CB, SB, MB (RIP), MR, MH, SR, RS, MTM, OH, MM (RIP), SGS. MC, EH, MAC, NDM, JG, SL, JD, AJ, MLJ, SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP, GRJP, JF, IC, RF, JC, LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG, GC, AW, DM, MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP)AJ, MLJ, SkJ, MS (RIP), LMP, GRJP, JF, IC, RF, JC, LHG, LKG, FMG, GMG, GC, AW, DM, MM, PM, ML (RIP), JMC, PN, KM, JJ, MJ, AWS, HGTJ, JHWW, HJPM, MB (RIP), MD, DN, QRPTT, LTP, NVVO, PEGMW, MC, LM & JM, BM, BP, CP, PP, CH, NF, RJH, GOJ, JMC, LH, JS, RMc, MLJ, EL (RIP), SS, BK, JKBP, CP, PP, BW, HT (RIP), SL, AW, DM, MM, PM, LH, TN, SF, SC, FM, T&TT, AR, HF, RF, JM, R&B, MC, MD,BH, SGS, JJHB, SJB, BB, MD, MB, JT, RF, SS, SS, PB, SD, JR, SQ, JL, MCSM, PR, MJ, MD, SM, PR, MJ, MD,
LECTIO DIVINA FOR SATURDAY OF EASTER WEEK V (16 May 2020)
Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to email@example.com.
Today’s church: The chapel of the Snows at McMurdo Base in Antarctica. A number of NZ priests have served there for a few weeks at a time. I was there in early 1990. Thanks Phil for this reminder. Phil writes: The world’s southernmost building specifically built for worship. Originally built around 1956 at McMurdo USA base and called Our Lady of the Snows. That burnt down in the dark of winter, August 1978 A new church was built and opened in 1989. Has its own bell tower and bell (made from a gasoline tanker!) Later the name changed to The Chapel of the Snows.
Saturday Easter Week V (15 minutes)
Saturday Easter Week V (25 minutes)