Saturday, January 21, 2012

The way of this world is, to praise dead saints, and persecute living ones

"All past persecutors of the Church are now no more, but the Church still lives on. The same fate awaits modern persecutors; they, too, will pass on, but the Church of Jesus Christ will always remain, for God has pledged His Word to protect Her and be with Her forever, until the end of time." - St. John Bosco

Gospel text (Mk 3,20-21):
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, "He is out of his mind."

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. Jesus was and is a sign of contradiction (Lk 2:34). As the Prophet, He did and said things which were challenging, confrontational, even shocking.

Why did the religious leaders make these contradictory charges? Were they concerned about Jesus' pastoral practice or His theology of demons? Or were they jealous?
Jealousy often masquerades as concern for others' physical, pastoral, or theological well-being. What's behind your criticism of the more popular members of your family, more prominent parishioners, or more successful co-workers? Are you truly concerned about others? Or are your motives selfishness and jealousy?

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».

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