Easter 5th Week, Saturday, May 16th

 Acts 16:1-10 / John 15:18-21
Jesus warns his disciples: “They will persecute you as they did me.” 
An American warship was transporting wounded Japanese prisoners during World War II. The medical officer took such excellent care of the prisoners that some American officers protested. “Treat those animals the same way that they treat our wounded,” they said. The medical officer responded:
“Let them play by their rules. I play by a different set of rules, and if that bothers anyone, I’m sorry. I’m going to do my best to replace whatever hatred they have in their hearts with love.
That’s the only way we’re ever going to have peace in this world.”
What set of rules do we usually play by— the world’s rules or the rules of Jesus? “He drew a circle that shut me out—Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took him in.” Edwin Markham, “Outwitted”
In life, we are often confronted with the two ways of deciding and acting. There is the way of the world, which is always more popular and also easier to follow. But a deeper reflection would tell us that the way of the world is inevitably a selfish and self-centered approach which does not bring about much good.

The other way is the way of Jesus. It is obviously a more difficult way, but one that leads us to discover the meaning of life and wonders of love. As it is, the world talks about retribution, revenge, to think about ourselves and to be No. 1 even at all costs.

The way of Jesus shows us sacrifice, humility, love and care for others. To follow the way of Jesus can result in scorn and contempt. Others will see us as weak and soft and will even call us losers. Yet, in the end, the way of Jesus has proven to be a more gentle and yet more powerful way that brings about the beauty and the meaning of love. Let us remember that we serve only one Master. Hence, for us it is only His way.
Saturday, May 16, 2020 - Liturgy 

The world that has rejected Christ hates Christ and his disciples; it persecutes them because the lifestyle of a good Christian is a silent condemnation of the world. Think, for example, of the films by Luis Bunuel, the Spanish director, who is obsessed by everything Christian and holds it up to bitter sarcasm. Perhaps, more deadening than persecution is the attitude of a world that has not discovered Christ or has a distorted view of him and of Christianity. To these people, we are ridiculous, old-fashioned, irrelevant, out of touch with reality, and worthy of a pitying smile. Yet this was the lot of Christ. We share in his love, and also in the treatment he is given by the world. The disciple is no better than the master. In the disciple, the world still rejects Christ, the Master. At least, we are in good company… 
Penitential Rite
- Lord, as you prepare us for the mission to a world that hated you, LHM
-Christ, as you remind us that we don’t belong to this world, CHM
-Lord, as you warn us to be prepared for any persecution in our mission in this world, LHM 
Opening Prayer
Lord, our God, it is good to live in the friendship of your Son, Jesus Christ. Make us realize that also in this love, we are committed to him and share with him for better and for worse, in misunderstanding and contradiction as well as in joy and intimacy. Help us to rejoice, even when treated with indifference or ridicule on account of him, for it means that he is still with us, who is our Lord forever. 
General Intercessions
–    That our missionaries may be guided by the Holy Spirit to bring the joy of Easter to other people and cultures, we pray: –    That like the early Christians, those who are persecuted on account of the Lord may retain their joy of witnessing to the Lord, we pray: –    That like Jesus, our Lord, we may be willing and eager to render service to people, we pray: 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, our God, your Son Jesus, pours for us the cup of joy, but it can also become at times a cup of sorrow to be emptied to the dregs. May his Spirit guide us to stay with him when the going is rough as he stays always with us, who is our Lord forever. 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, we thank you for the joy of sharing the table of your Son in this Eucharistic celebration. Make our faith be strong enough to share all of the life of Jesus, even when he is rejected or ignored, and we with him. Make us understand that his Paschal Mystery is both death and life and the way we have to live with Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
The message of Christ is not always a comfortable message, it also has to speak of the cross. But speak we must, even in the face of ridicule and contradiction. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.