August 1: Friday of Week 17 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
Jeremiah 26:1-9; Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14; Matthew 13:54-58
Thoughts to help us surrender to Jesus expressing himself through us in ministry.
“And they took offense at him.” Matthew 3:57
Jesus came that we might “have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). He went about teaching truth, preaching goodness, and healing people with love. And so many hated him for it that they drove him out of his home town and eventually crucified him. Why?
Few people cling to being evil. But many settle down in mediocrity and resent it when their complacency is disturbed by a call to be better. They are more dangerous, because it is easier to rationalize inadequate goodness than inordinate malice. Pharisees are more self-righteous than prostitutes, and those who hide their heartlessness under laws are more hardened than open oppressors. Only the Jews in “good standing” rejected Jesus: the hierarchy (chief priests), approved religion teachers (scribes), and those obedient to them, the law-observing Pharisees. That gives us something to think about.
The greatest test of those who minister with love is to persevere in loving those who hate them for it. To minister as “priests in the Priest” we must be willing to suffer as “victims in the Victim”—to endure whatever is done and “love back.” Because this is what Jesus did. God arranged that the last expression of his body would be his heart opened to the world.
That is ministry: to open our hearts to the world.
PRAY: “Lord, give your love with me, in me, through me.”
PRACTICE: Express truth and show love without fear.