A church that suffers no persecution but enjoys the privileges and support of the things of the earth - beware! - is not the true church of Jesus Christ. A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good, so that they are secured in their sinful state, betrays the gospel's call. - Archbishop Oscar Romero
Gospel text (Mk 3:20-21): They went home. The crowd began to gather again and they couldn’t even have a meal. Knowing what was happening his relatives came to take charge of him: «He is out of his mind», they said.
Today, we see how Jesus' own relatives react «He is out of his mind» (Mk 3:21). Once again, the old proverb «only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor» (Mt 13:57), is seen to be true. It is unnecessary to say this complaint does not “taint” the Blessed Virgin Mary, because from the beginning to the last moment —when she was at the foot of the Cross— she always kept her unmovable faith and trust towards her Son.
But, what about us? Let us consider! How many, amongst our neighbors, or those closer to us, can we say light up our lives..., and what about us...? We do not have to go far: let us consider the Holy Father John Paul II: how many people followed him, and..., how many did not hesitate to accuse him of being an “stubborn old person”, jealous of his “power”? Is it possible that after two thousand years we still keep Jesus crucified on the cross for our salvation while we onlookers continually say «come down from the Cross so we may see and believe» (cf. Mk 15:32)?
Let us look at it another way! If we valiantly identify ourselves with Christ, our presence will not be neutral for those interacting with us for reasons of kinship, work, etc. What is more, for some, our presence will be a pain in the neck, because we shall be like a reminder for their conscience. We can be certain: «If they persecuted Me they will persecute you...» (Jn 15:20). With their mockery they will try to conceal their fears; with their disqualifications they will perform a poor defense of their “laziness”.
How many times we Catholics are being accused of “exaggerating”? We have to reply we are not. For it is impossible to exaggerate in matters of love. Instead, it is quite true we are “radical”, because love is just so “absorbent”: «it has to be either all or nothing»; «or love kills the I or the I kills love».
This is why the Holy Father spoke of “evangelic radicalism” and of “not being afraid”: «In the cause of the Kingdom we have no time to look backwards, and much less to let ourselves be carried away by laziness» (John Paul II).
Saturday, January 22, 2011
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