We are told that persecution and hardships strengthen us and help us conform more closely to Jesus. The selflessness and teaching of Paul and Barnabas attract large numbers of Gentiles to the faith. God will use us to bring others to Him if we cooperate with His grace and have the courage to trust His leading and not fear man’s opinion.
Revelation speaks of a new heavenly Jerusalem in which death and sadness will be no more. Jesus’ rule of love makes all things new. Jesus says he will be glorified. Who would think His being tortured and crucified would glorify Him? Yet, the Resurrection gave stark confirmation of Jesus’ divinity. Isaiah 55:9 tells us, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Jesus, in John’s gospel, commands us to love one another as He has loved us. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn. 13:35) All today’s readings point to the power of love to transform our lives and influence those around us to seek the Lord. Do we exude the sweetness of His love? Love requires us to consider the welfare of others first. This is a challenge for us to submit our will to the will of God, who is Love itself.
Mrs. Marilyn Pipkin, OP