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“If They Persecuted Me, They will Persecute You.” -Jesus
Gospel Reflection for June 5, 2023
“He began to speak to them in parables. ‘A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What [then] will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture passage:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes’?”
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.” (Mark 12:1-12 NABRE)
In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers an analogy to demonstrate that the Christian message of Good News will not always be accepted. In fact, those who are sent out by God as His servants will often be treated with similar rejection, persecution, and martyrdom, just like the servants in Jesus’ analogy. But Jesus tells us, that “if the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
Nowadays, not only is the Christian faith frequently rejected, but it is also outrightly mocked and ridiculed. One current example—which I only recently heard of and am sickened by it—is “The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.” Have you heard of them? Apparently, this is a group of so-called trans and queer “nuns,” or drag men who dress up as nuns and mock the Catholic faith.
Not to mention, a major league baseball team invited this group to be on their field for their pride night in order to honor them.
According to one news source, “They are a hate group, they are an anticatholic, transvestite men, mocking women religious, mocking Catholics, and mocking all Christians, frankly. This group is engaged in some of the most detestable and vile behavior. They mock the crucifixion of our Lord, they gyrate on a cross, they’ve had condom masses, they’ve put yogurt in a chalice to imitate semen, this is just an absolute disgusting group, and to have a major league baseball team decide to grant them an award and to put them on the baseball field as if this group somehow represents something the community of Los Angeles should be proud of, it’s just terrible.”
Many Christian/Catholic baseball players and other Catholics, like good servants of God, have stood up for their faith and proclaimed that they disagree with the decision to invite and award this group. MLB pitcher Blake Treinen beautifully wrote about his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior, and his disappointment and disapproval of his team’s decision to honor this blasphemous group. Though the team initially rescinded their invitation to these “sisters,” they ultimately reinvited them due to backlash from the LGBTQ community. This is an example of Jesus’ message not being accepted.
Target is also being boycotted by many Christians for promoting LGBTQ ideologies, especially for doing so in the children’s clothing section. A viral rap song written by multiple Christian artists called “Boycott Target,” was released on May 25th, and it almost immediately topped the charts. The lyrics say that Target is targeting our kids and that “We need a cleanup on every aisle/Inside this store Satan resides/Wash it with the blood of Christ… We all know this is the end/God is coming for revenge/Target is targeting my kids.”
Though many people in the comments agree with the message of this song, YouTube has actually made it difficult to find the video. The video is not searchable by the title of the song… This censorship is just another example demonstrating that the world’s sinful ideologies are often sided with and protected over the message of Jesus.
Regardless, today’s Gospel teaches us that Christians must push forward as servants and soldiers of Christ, even if that means being rejected, persecuted, or not being listened to. We should look at these examples of people standing up for their faith, and of others responding to these instances with incredible support, as signs of hope. May we all courageously live out our faith in unity and stand up for our beliefs as faithful servants of God!
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20 NIV)
Newsmax, “This group engages in detestable and vile behavior: Catholic Vote President | America Right Now,” YouTube Video, from Newsmax, posted by Newsmax on May 27, 2023, at https://www.youtube.com.
Mayor of Magaville, “Boycott Target - Forgiato Blow x @JimmyLevy x @nicknittoli x @StoneyDudebro "Official Music Video,"” YouTube Video, from Mayor of Magaville, posted by Mayor of Magaville on May 25, 2023, at https://www.youtube.com.