A Call for Patience and Charity
Sometimes the things that we need to hear for the salvation of our souls are not the things that we want to hear. The truth—God’s Truth—demands that we change our hearts and change our minds to conform to God’s way of thinking and His will. Change is uncomfortable and it makes us feel insecure. Feeling insecure makes us fearful.
Fear causes people to do irrational things. For example, when Jesus points out in this Sunday’s gospel that He is the fulfillment of the Scriptures and that God comes to those who we do not expect, the people wanted to hurl Jesus off of the cliff. In essence: they wanted to kill God because He did not conform to their idea of the Messiah, and His words made them uncomfortable. Was it rational for the Jewish people to reject the Messiah, for Whom they had been waiting for generations, because He did not suit their tastes and expectations? No. Perhaps the truth was that they were not really waiting for the actual Messiah at all. Perhaps they wanted the comfort of their own perceptions, their own way of thinking, and their own way of judging reality. Is it really any different in our own lives?
We are living in very difficult times that demand we must sift through many conflicting, and often confusing ideas in order to seek and find the Truth. We are being bombarded on all fronts of life with information and contradictory messages, even within the Church. It is easy to want to either escape or demonize the people and ideas that challenge us, and cause us discomfort and fear, by dismissing them and “hurling them over a cliff.”
It is tempting to reject God because His teachings don’t conform to our own, comfortable moral code. However, the Church and Jesus Christ never encourage us to take the easy way or reject our brother, let alone God, because they make us uncomfortable. The Church challenges us to truly seek God and His Truth, love our enemies, and do good to those who hate us.
The readings for this weekend also remind us that everything we do or say must be done in and with charity. Jesus knew that people come to the Truth at different paces and in different ways. Not everyone who saw or heard Jesus believed in Him. Some followed, but did not believe He was God until later. Others believed immediately. And still some wanted to kill him. And Jesus was patient.
This also means, then, that, just as God is patient with us, so too must we be patient and charitable with each other as each of us tries to seek and find the Truth.
No matter where we might find ourselves on the path, just know that, if we place our faith in Jesus—if we truly seek to follow Him Who is the Truth—then we have nothing to fear because He will come to our aid, and our enemies—even when that enemy is our very self and preconceived notions—will not prevail.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 72Tags: #charity, #fatherarthurmarat, #olwparish, #patience, #reflection