The Gospel of the day (John 15, 17–27; 16, 1–2)

Jesus speaks to his disciples

The Lord told his disciples :

17 This is my command: Love each other.

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[b]

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.

The courage of the martyrs

Origen, Against Celsus, 8th book, Cap. LXX, in Church Fathers and Writers (1984), vol. 9, p. 564

(…) We believe in the One who told us : `But take heart! I have overcome the world.`

And He indeed overcame the world which has no more power than in the measure allowed by its vanquisher, who received from His Father the power to overcome the world. On this victory of His is based all our courage.`

Minucius Felix, The dialogue Octavius, XXXVII, 1-3, in Church Fathers and Writers (1981), vol. 3, p. 391

What other more wonderful view for God than a Christian fighting painfully and facing the threats calm at torments and tortures prepared for him, laughing and not taking into account the cry of the crowd at his execution and of the fright of his executioner. Defending his freedom before the kings and princes, the Christian does not obey anyone else except for God to whom he belongs. Triumphant and victorious he laughs in the face of the one who condemned him, as it is a winner that one who obtained what he wished. Under the eyes of the general what soldier won`t face the danger with the greatest boldness. Nobody receives the reward before being put to trial. But a general can`t give if he doesn`t have, meaning he can`t prolong the life of the soldier; he can only give him military distinctions. The soldier of God is not deserted in his pain and he doesn`t end his life at his death. The Christian may seem unhappy but the reality is different. 


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