So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jesus and Church: misunderstood, maligned and mocked.

Our Lord and Saviour endured humiliations of one kind or another: slander; physical assault leading up to His crucifixion; calumny against Him and His disciples; betrayal by one of His own. One could go on.

When confronted with challenges from people who behave badly and react with their baser instincts in charge rather than reason and charity, we should recall the temptations Christ faced during the course of His public ministry and pray for the grace to endure in charity.

The Church, like Her beloved Spouse, faces every manner of accusation and confrontation: marginalization in the public square; persecution; martyrdom. These challenges purify the Church and grow faithfulness in her children.

Attacks by the state, special interest groups and even attacks by those who claim to live under the roof of the Church are to be expected. How do we in the Church respond to those who enact persecution? With love, that's how.

Love's embrace, extended to one's adversary or accuser, is a gift for their eternal salvation. Whether or not s/he immediately accepts the gift, one must extend love and forgiveness in the hope that one's offer might lead, in God's time, to salvation for that person.

Happy Lent!

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