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Persecuted for loving others?

In Sunday's (November 13, 2022) Gospel reading (Luke 21:5-19), Jesus says that "they will seize and persecute you ... because of my name" which "will lead to your giving testimony. ... You will be hated by all because of my name."


As I started to reflect on this passage this week, I wondered how it could apply to serving our neighbors. I wonder if persecution and hate will arise because of a conflict around the reasons and goals for serving the marginalized.


Catholic social teaching emphasizes the inherent dignity of every human being. We are called to be merciful, which really means to love someone when we encounter them suffering. But to love someone, we must do that freely, by our own choice.


In that light, when it comes to serving our neighbors, especially in volunteering in our communities, consider these challenge questions for this week:


When you choose to serve others out of love for them, and recognize their inherent dignity as fellow human beings:


What will you be persecuted for?


What will you be hated for?


When you have been persecuted and hated, what was your testimony?


What words did the Holy Spirit give to you in that moment?


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