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Monday, May 2, 2016

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St. Athanasius

Acts 16:11-15
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
John 15:26—16:4

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i told you so...

"I have told you..." —John 16:1, 4

Jesus mentions twice in today's Gospel reading that He told the apostles something in advance. First, Jesus warns them that He told them "all this" so that their faith may not be shaken under worldly pressure, and therefore they may not fall away (Jn 16:1). To what does "all this" refer? Jesus had just finished warning His apostles that worldly people would hate, harass, and disrespect them. Why? Jesus says it's because they bear witness to Him and because they don't belong to the worldly system which refuses to accept His lordship (Jn 15:18-20). Jesus knew His apostles would be tempted to give up under this pressure, and so He warned them in advance (Jn 16:1).

Initially, the apostles experience only threats and hatred. Jesus warns that the hatred will soon escalate into physical violence. He warns them that when being beaten and even when about to be martyred, they must remember He had forewarned them (Jn 16:4). This remembrance is more than just recalling Jesus' warning. They must constantly live in a state of remembrance. Jesus gave these commands during the Last Supper, the first Mass, in which He commanded: "Do this in remembrance of me" (see Lk 22:19).

Is the world putting pressure on you for witnessing to Jesus by your words, actions, and lifestyle? Keep your faith unshakable. Go to Mass frequently, even daily. Remember that "Christ suffered in the flesh; therefore arm yourselves with His same mentality" (1 Pt 4:1).

Prayer:  "O Lord, look at the threats they are leveling against us. Grant to Your servants, even as [we] speak Your words, complete assurance by stretching forth Your hand in cures and signs and wonders to be worked in the name of Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30).

Promise:  "The Lord loves His people." —Ps 149:4

Praise:  St. Athanasius was exiled at least six times because he defended the divinity of Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015

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