Monday of the Sixth week of Easter
I remember when I was accepted into the seminary and started my formation to the priesthood, we – newly accepted to the seminary, had a special gathering with our rector who had an important message for us. He told us what seminary life looks like and what are the expectations. He said, for example: You will wake up early each day at 5:30 AM, go to the chapel for personal prayer and meditation, then there will be a holy mass, followed by breakfast, time for studying, only two hours after lunch of free time, then more meetings, formations, plus no smoking, no alcohol, and complete silence after 9:00 PM. Very strict rules and regulations. At the end the rector said -- now, you know. You can commit to this or leave. He was very straight forward, just like Jesus in our Gospel reading for today. He doesn’t attract His disciples by saying things like: if you become my disciple, people will respect you and love you, you will become rich and popular. No, nothing like that. Instead, Jesus was straight forward and honest, saying: “I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.” We know that for following Jesus we will be rewarded, but not in this world. The choice is ours.