We live in a rapidly changing world, don’t we? Ever feel like things are completely topsy-turvy, upside down? When I was a kid, we used to have a saying for that - It's Opposite Day. More on that in a moment. In our first reading today from Acts 16, we meet a woman named Lydia, whose heart God opened.
In today’s Gospel reading from John 15-16, Jesus continues telling His disciples of things to come. Remember when He said that the world would hate them? Today He reveals the striking consequences of that. “In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.” In other words, they will be deceived; they will believe that the wrongs they are committing are actually right and good and even virtuous. Truly, it's like we're living in a perpetual Opposite Day.
I continue to be struck by how this is very much happening (in a sense) even today. If you dare speak out against the spirit of the age – saying that marriage is between a man and a woman, that a man can't be a woman and a woman can't be a man, that abortion is murder or that (gasp!) sex outside of marriage is a sin – you will be marginalized, canceled, perhaps fined or made to be “re-educated.” And these ideas have become sacraments to them. It's as though they were offering worship to (a) god. Funny thing though – Jesus never told His disciples to back down, to go along to get along. They were to keep the faith and stay the course to the very end. That mandate has not changed.
Father, help us to navigate this upside down world. Give us the strength to always stand up for what is right and true – even to death. Amen.
How are you at explaining Catholic teaching to others? Can you do it in a minute? Now you can with A Minute in the Church, available at www.GusLloyd.com.