Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Let’s read in between the lines of today’s first reading. Barnabas is no longer with Paul because Mark, Barnabas’ cousin, Peter’s confidant, and Paul could not get along. So Paul drops these two and picks Luke and Timothy. All six are saints today, showing us that saints have particular temperaments that allow them with grace to become saints, but do not prevent them from clashing with others, even other saints. Think of Augustine and Jerome; Church music, liturgy, hierarchy … Then humbly realize that perfect harmony will not take place in this life, even among saints.
So while it is true that “the world” may hate us as it hated Jesus, we can also be “hated” because we are not like Jesus, that is, perfect in every respect.
“If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” This we see when out of hatred terrorist groups behead Christians or when our own politicians enact anti-Christian laws. But we also may experience alienation, misunderstanding and anger because of our own fault. There is no substitution for a daily examination of conscience: Each day, do I enact Jesus’s teaching about the love of neighbor, which Paul’s companion, Luke, described so vividly throughout his Gospel?