Not everyone in the world is for Jesus Christ. Not everyone who says that are for Jesus Christ is actually for Jesus Christ. The Lord says, "because I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." What was it that the Lord commanded us to do yesterday? He commanded to us to lay down one's life for another. This is the law of love, and if the world hates us, they are not obeying the law of love laid down by Lord Jesus. Jesus also explains to us that the world hates us because it hated him first. He says "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first." Today, I want to write about three things: persecution, the Truth, and our mission. Our mission is to joyfully suffer for the sake of the Truth.
It is a reality that the Church will face persecution. The people of the world, that is those who cling to evil, do not love the light of truth. Hence, it cannot love the Lord Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. Therefore, they persecute the Lord's Church just as they crucified the Lord Jesus for speaking the truth. I would go so far to say that if you are not enduring persecution for your faith, then there might be something wrong in the way you are living the faith. Christ tells his apostles, "No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." We are not above the glorious, King of Heaven, the Lord of Lords! He has raised us up to friendship with him, but we are still not His equals; hence, we should expect persecution in our lives.
Persecution for the faith comes from speaking the faith which is the Truth. Many claim to be suffering for the faith, who really aren't being persecuted, because they aren't preaching the Truth. If someone is imposing penalties on you for evil actions and spreading heresy, you are not being persecuted. You are being disciplined. There is a real difference. The prisoner who is locked up in jail isn't being persecuted if is guilty! He is being punished, hopefully justly and mercifully. Persecution happens to those who love the faith and the Lord Jesus and boldly stand up to defend it. People who claim to be persecuted for supporting homosexual marriages, abortions, woman's ordinations, and the abandonment of doctrines cannot claim to be persecuted when they face penalties from the hierarchy. They are not based on the Truth which God given to us in the Scriptures, the Tradition, and faithfully interpreted by the Magisterium.
But, the Truth which we proclaim, given to us by God Himself, a God who cannot lie to us, is a saving truth. It is the truth that sets us free. Christ proclaims the truth about how human beings out to love our lives. He proclaims the dignity of every person, no matter how small. This truth is communicated to us through our doctrines! Our doctrines communicate to us the saving reality of Christ's life on earth and our future destiny in Heaven. And if this Truth saves, if it sets us free, and Christ gave this truth for the whole world to share, then we ought to share it out of love for our brothers and sisters!
If we love the Lord Jesus, whose kindness endures forever, then we need to stand by Him in proclaiming the Truth. The Jews crucified Christ because He claimed to be God and He would not back down. We also need to boldly proclaim that truth to the World today. Just like the world did not receive His word then, but persecuted Him, so will the world do to us. However, remember! Remember that "he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends." The Lord is our shepherd who is near to us. We might be afraid when facing the anger of our families or the ridicule of our co-workers. However, remember how close the Lord is to you and that He has counted you among his friends. "Serve the LORD with gladness come before him with joyful song." Your joyful witness in the face of persecution for the truth will reap a great reward for you in Heaven, a seat high among the angels. This is our mission: to give joyful witness to the Truth of Christ. This is a mission of joyful witness because despite any persecution; the Lord is near.