Is it Better to be Hated than Ignored?
Living Faith in a World Hostile to Christian Values
It was just before 9:00 am yesterday morning.
I was walking up Broadway in Lower Manhattan when someone yelled, “It’s Bruno!” My ears perked up, and before I could turn to see who had shouted, I heard a chorus of “F*-you, Jeffrey Bruno!” and other similar accolades.
I smiled and kept walking as the noise of the city streets engulfed the cacophony.
You know you’ve arrived when random people start screaming at you when you’re simply walking down the street.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen famously stated, “While it’s better to be loved than hated, it is also far better to be hated than ignored.”
Well, at least I had something new to reflect on.
It’s one thing to see it on the news but quite another to have it directed at you.
St. Peter was no stranger to this.
Father Fidelis of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal is no stranger to this.
Those who pray the Rosary for those impacted by abortion are no strangers to this.
And, well, why should that come as any surprise?
Remember Good Friday?
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name because they do not know the one who sent me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is, they have no excuse for their sin.
Whoever hates me also hates my Father.
If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.
But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, ‘They hated me without cause.’ “John 15:18-23
Nobody wants to be hated. But on the other hand, it all comes down to this:
If you are hated for standing up for the rights of others.
If you are hated because of your prayers.
If you are hated because of your love for your persecutors.
If you are hated because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
Then the question answers itself.
It’s far better to be hated than ignored.
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