Reflections - July 8, 2018

“When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this?  What kind of wisdom has been given him?  What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!  Is he not the carpenter…….? And they took offense at him.  Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and his own house…..  He was amazed at their lack of faith.”  Mk. 6:1-6
 
Christians in the world also suffer the suffering of the Lord, as well as contempt and mistrust when they try to be consistent in their teachings.
 
A few weeks ago one of the young catechumens told me this phrase:  -Since I started to know and follow the Lord, the biggest obstacles I have encountered have come from some of my friends and even some family.  I have never heard these phrases:  “You have now become fanatical.”  “Now let’s board the Pope mobil to listen to religious music…..  To believe in God you don’t have to go to Mass every Sunday…”. 
In the Gospel we heard that it was not much different for Jesus.  He reminds us:  “A servant is not greater than his Lord”.
 
To be consistent with what we believe and how we live it brings consequences like the pain of being misunderstood and not accepted.  Revolving around Christ and His teachings comes with a price and in many cases it is contempt especially among those that know us from before and want us to remain how we were before.  They do not have eyes to see “the change that the Lord has done in our lives”.  Do you think the lives of Zacchaeus and Magdalene were easy after their conversion?  Do you know what helped maintain themselves firm in the following of the Lord?  It was their faith that gave them the certainty to know that the Lord walked by their side giving them strength.  We have two sacraments that strengthen us in our faith – the Body of Christ in the Bread of Life and examining our conscience in asking for forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession for the times when we too have not forgiven the rejections and contempt that we have received from others.  Remember that when we recognize our own weaknesses before the Lord, He gives us strength.  As Paul said: “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hard ships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Cor. 12: 10.
 
Let us ask the Lord in the Eucharist for purity of intention to have “the same attitudes that is also yours in Christ Jesus”, Phil 2:5, through the affective sanctifying gifts that strengthen us in the face of the rejection of the world and for piety to unite with Him in our daily crosses with faith, hope, and charity.  Amen.