My dear apostles of love. The more you love the more you will be hated and persecuted for your faith.
You live in a world where love wants to exist without any mention of Jesus of God or of sin. This my little ones is not love, it is a veneer of community with the rot of sin underneath.
True love only comes from God. It is sacrificial and true and always reaches out to the poor and the marginalised.
It breaks down systems of injustice and abuse such as racism, poverty and all types of discrimination and defends and protects the innocent such as children, the sick and the elderly and yes, the unborn.
You will be hated when you stand up against the powers that keep these structures of injustice in place just as Jesus was hated.
The more you love, the more you will feel the cry of the poor, the cry of the lost and the more the Holy Spirit within you will move you to act.
Do not be afraid. The spirit of fear holds so many of you in hostage. Fear is Satan’s main weapon but remember that I have defeated Satan with my ‘yes’.
Hold my hand and together we will defeat him too and I will transform you into fearless apostles of love.“
Well as you can see this morning’s message is bitter sweet! We all want the love but not everyone is prepared to accept the persecutions that go with it!
The more we speak up for the poor and for love and justice be it for homeless people or gay people or children or whatever the more we can expect to be attacked and hated.
For me this comes in speaking up for gay people in the church and the systems of injustice, silence, shame and rejection that people face that causes untold damage to gay people’s mental and spiritual health.
Young gay people often get kicked out of home by religious families while so many priests and bishops live in luxurious homes and even castles (one in France comes to mind).
Where is the gospel in that?!
Needless to say I have been severely persecuted for opening my mouth in every way possible and yet I’d rather die than give up!
For others of you it will be some other cause which is equally important and equally serious and you too will face bitter challenges once you begin to speak out and become more than a “nice catholic”.
You will be labelled as a troublemaker, you will be accused of destroying the peace and of being prideful and disobedient and yet Jesus and Mary will guide you to the true obedience that comes from following the Holy Spirit in your heart.
And so let us take courage, we are in a war, don’t expect your enemies to hug you and love you but keep one eye on Jesus, the other on the poor and keep on going joyfully!!
Have a wonderful day