This blog follows the daily bible readings of the Catholic Church
Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a disciple called Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and had become a believer; but his father was a Greek.
2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him,
3 and Paul, who wanted to have him as a travelling companion, had him circumcised. This was on account of the Jews in the locality where everyone knew his father was a Greek.
4 As they visited one town after another, they passed on the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, with instructions to observe them.
5 So the churches grew strong in the faith, as well as growing daily in numbers.
6 They travelled through Phrygia and the Galatian country, because they had been told by the Holy Spirit not to preach the word in Asia.
7 When they reached the frontier of Mysia they tried to go into Bithynia, but as the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them,
8 they went through Mysia and came down to Troas.
9 One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and kept urging him in these words, ‘Come across to Macedonia and help us.’
10 Once he had seen this vision we lost no time in arranging a passage to Macedonia, convinced that God had called us to bring them the good news.
Paul had persuaded the Jerusalem leaders not to burden gentile male converts with circumcision, nevertheless to placate Jewish Christians at Lystra, who knew Timothy’s father was a gentile, he arranged for him to be circumcised.
You can call him two-faced or you can say he was prepared to come and go with other issues, for the sake of the gospel. Or better, you can call him two-faced for the sake of the gospel.
Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you.
20 Remember the words I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours as well.
21 But it will be on my account that they will do all this to you, because they do not know the one who sent me.
What did Jesus’ mean, to be “not of the world?” It means that we know where we have come from and who sent us: we responded to the call of God and are disciples of Jesus: God has sent us too, into the world. This is not anything to do with pre-existing our earthly lives, or coming from other galaxies; it is the result of our decision to follow Jesus.
We must neither expect nor demand earthly success, happiness and reputation. It is our privilege to share the sufferings of Jesus. I’m not sure if this is what the church tells people.