The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter is John 15:18-21.

Christ continues His Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After emphasizing the need for men to abide in Christ to keep His commandments and gain His friendship, He warns of the opposition and persecution that will certainly come to those who proclaim His Gospel.

In Christ’s revelation of the world’s hatred, He confirms the rampant sin that has plagued mankind since the seduction of Satan in the Garden. Satan, and those who follow him, hate God (“it hated me before it hated you”) and the Kingdom of Heaven. Because Christ has chosen His men out of the world (through Baptism) for the Kingdom, the world will hate them.

To help the Apostles grasp the truth of their coming persecution, Christ reminds them of the persecution He will face (in the Passion). Since the Apostles are inferior to Him (servants/slaves), they too will be persecuted by those who refuse to hear and keep Christ’s word. Steeling the Apostles to not get discouraged (or perhaps prideful), Christ affirms that the Apostle’s persecution is actually directed at Christ and His Word. The persecution of Christ and His disciples is ultimately targeted at the Father by those who reject the Father out of ignorance or rebellion.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has perfect insight into the Father, Heaven, Satan and the world. Divine Prophet, Christ  accurately describe the future in which the Apostles will be hated and persecuted by those of the world who reject God. Divine King, educates and exhorts His Apostles to prepare them for the rigors of spreading the Gospel.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Marvel at God’s stunningly counterintuitive acceptance for the Son and His Apostles to be hated, persecuted and killed in order to save mankind.

2) If you desire salvation, you, like the Apostles and every saint on earth and in Heaven, must be a slave/servant of Christ your Master. During Easter, reflect on Submission (CCC 154, 342, 396, 1955) and pray for Christ to help you think and act like His servant/slave in the world.

3) It is only Christ’s grace that allows a man can come to faith; there are no self-made Christians. During Easter, refresh your understanding of Justification, Grace, Merit and Holiness (CCC 1987-2029) and pray for Christ’s grace so that you may continue to grow in holiness.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead