Friday, November 23, 2018

“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”

“An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion.” ― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Scripture Text: (RV 10:8-11)
I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me.
Then the voice spoke to me and said:
"Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land."
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll.
He said to me, "Take and swallow it.
It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey."
I took the small scroll from the angel's hand and swallowed it.
In my mouth it was like sweet honey,
but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then someone said to me, "You must prophesy again
about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."

The first reading from Mass is from the Book of Revelation, the author has a vision in which he is told to take a scroll and eat it. He is told that it will first taste sweet, but afterward it will taste sour. The sweetness comes because the scroll indicates God’s ultimate victory. The sourness comes because there are predictions of suffering before that happens. I think we can be tempted to hang on only to those of Jesus’ words that taste “sweet” to us, and not those that challenge, or taste “sour” to us. But we need to hang on Jesus’ words of forgiveness and compassion and mercy and love towards others, even of enemies, as well as when Jesus comforts us and promises us salvation.

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