JESUS SUFFERINGS GIVE US COURAGE AND OPTIMISM
The readings for today give the name “sin” to our offenses against God. When we sin -- violate God’s Commandments -- we distance ourselves from Him; when we refuse, or fear, to admit our sins, we deny ourselves God’s freely offered pardon and forgiveness.
Putting evil in its place and naming sin for what it is, Jesus reminds us in today’s Gospel, that sin and evil must be confronted whether it is in ourselves, our relatives, our friends or our enemies. The Gospel passage reveals how Jesus himself was misunderstood by his own relatives and was criticized, slandered and rejected by the Sanhedrin-led scribes and Pharisees. His sufferings for us give us courage and his offer of healing, strength and forgiveness, so that we can do as he did when we face unfair treatment and criticism in our lives.
Today’s Scriptures challenge us to face rejection with prophetic courage and optimism. Very often our friends, families, or childhood companions fail to listen to us and refuse to accept the words of grace, love and encouragement that we offer to them because they are too familiar with us. But we have to face such rejection with prophetic courage because by our Baptism we are called to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission. As prophets, our task is to speak out the truth and oppose the evils in our society without condoning or encouraging sinful behavior even in our dear ones.
Excerpted from the homily of Fr Tony Kadavil available at http://stjohngrandbay.org/.