Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 16:11-15; John 15:26-16:4a)
Videos of extremist Muslims massacring Christians authenticate Jesus’ prophecy in today’s gospel. Men and women thinking that they are doing God’s will are killing his disciples. As there is cause for outrage, there is also need for reflection on what is taking place.
First of all, not all, not even a sizeable minority of Muslims agree with such persecution. There are certainly fundamentalist interpretations of the Koran which deny basic rights of peoples of other faith traditions. But murder is not tolerated, much less condoned by the vast majority of Muslim people. Still, in many nations with Muslim majorities there is need for recognizing the full range of human rights to non-Muslims just as Muslims thrive with these freedoms in most countries.
It should also be noted that Jesus does not even hint of retaliation for the abuses he visualizes. Throughout the gospel he promotes a spirit of love among his people. True, in the Gospel According to John Jesus emphasizes love within the community, but surely this disposition of goodwill affects our outlook toward others. Indeed, by our readiness to forgive wrongs, we testify to the knowledge of God which Jesus sees lacking among religious persecutors.