Reflections - January 31, 2016

“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”  Lk. 4:24.
I remember a few years ago visiting a few friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while.  They had good economic positions.  After lunch we went into the living room and were watching some sports game on the TV when suddenly an ad appeared asking for economic aid to help some poor children who were hungry.  I took advantage of the moment and told them that as Christians we have to be in solidarity with the needy and to value what we have.  All of a sudden one of them told me:  “let’s change the conversation because neither you or us can fix these problems.  They are hungry because their parents brought them into that world of misery….”.
Indeed when I heard these words “my heart shrunk” to see how human beings can become so insensitive and I remembered Jesus’ words:  “no prophet is accepted”, especially when you speak about fairness and having compassion and mercy of the needy.  Remember that Jesus suffered with his flesh rejection and was not received:
The Creator of the world was rejected by the world.  The true light was rejected to follow the “darkness”.  The King of kings, the Lord Almighty, was crowned, but with thorns, and they gave Him a throne which was the redeeming Cross.  The hardness of the heart of His people, product of sin, rejected Him.
In the lives of the saints we find many rejections by trying to live the prophetic and merciful spirit of Jesus, the Son of God.  It would be a good thing to ask ourselves:  Why do we sometimes react with so much coldness and indifference when we are told about the needs of others?
When the Lord visits us through His Word or through the poor there are two attitudes.  Be transformed by His Word and recognize Him in the poor and needy and act with charity or to refuse to take seriously our faith and respond with superficiality to the Great Commandment of Love.  But remember:  “If I do not have love, I have nothing”.  1 Cor. 13:4.
Ask the Lord at Communion for “purity of intent” so as to love and serve the needy more despite our fears of rejection, knowing that He walks with us despite the tests we received when we try to practice mercy.