THEME: LOVING GOD LIVING TRUTH
SATURDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
REGINA CAELI CATHOLIC CHURCH, KAREN PARISH – NAIROBI
MAY 16, 2020
FIRST READING: Acts 16:1-10
PSALM: Psalms: 100:1B-2, 3, 5
GOSPEL READING: John 15:18-21
SERMON BY: FR. JOYZY PIUS EGUNJOBI
Jesus says, “There’s no greater love than for one to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus laid down His life for you and for me like it was said in John 3:16 that “For God so love the world that He gave his only son so whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” This is God’s love.
But God loving us and God being with us does not mean in any way that the world will love you. When you look at it in some way the love of God is contrary to the love of the world and love of the world is contrary to the love of God. You cannot serve both God and money. If you have to love God it doesn’t mean you have to hate the world, but it means you don’t have to be preoccupied with worldy things. The minute you put your mind on worldy things, then you forget about Godly things.
Jesus says, “If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) And that is Jesus Christ himself saying if the world hates me, because if you’re not walking in the path of the world, that is cheating, adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, deception, greed; those are the things of the world. And by the time you’re engaging in such things, the world likes you. The world does not like the truth. Look at, for example, the current pandemic. Nobody has been able to tell what the nature of COVID-19. We know that it can kill, or you can also recover, but the actual truth of it, we do not know. That’s the way if the world. And by the time you want to stand up to speak against all this, then people start to ask what are you taking about. The world will hate you. But if you live by the truth, then you live by God.
So Jesus says, do not be afraid, they hated you because remember you’re following me and they first hated me because I am the truth. And the world hates the truth. You and I also don’t like to be told the truth sometimes because the truth hurts. It’s painful. We want to hear lies. But lies lead to destruction. But the truth leads to life.
Jesus continues to say ” But because you’re not of the world, but I chose you out of the world…” Not that you’re not living in the world, but you’re not of the world, you’re not occupied with worldy deeds and worldly desires, you’re to be occupied with Godly things and Godly desires; the things of the spirit, not the things of the flesh. When you live in the flesh, it leads to death but when you live in the spirit, it leads to life.
“A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” (John 15:20) And also Jesus added, ” If they listened to my word, they will also listen to your word.” Because no matter how crazy your word is, there will be those who who accept it, and there’ll also be those who don’t like it. That’s just the nature of the world. Jesus is reminding us that no matter what situation we find ourselves in this life, we should stand by the truth. It is only by the truth that we shall be set free.
Jesus is telling us at this time that we should not be afraid if being hated. Because people will hate you if you don’t follow in their path. As Jesus also told us last Sunday that “Where I’m going, in my Father’s house, there are many rooms, but only those is us who live in the path of truth and righteousness will actually get there.” (John 14:2)
I encourage you today, brothers and sisters to stand firm on the solid foundation of the truth of Jesus Christ, so that no matter what comes, we stand by the truth. And only by this truth, that we will be set free. You will be hated, and it is expected. If you say the truth, you will be hated. But that’s okay. But you should still stand firm. And your conscience will be able to tell you, to stand by the truth bit now and always.
May God bless us and sanctify us. May God grant us the grave to always stand by the truth both not and forevermore. Amen.