Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jer 1:4-5, 17-19
1 Cor 12:31—13:13 or 13:4-13
Lk 4:21-30

Standing up and speaking the truth can be difficult. It can be even more difficult when the people we are trying to speak truth to are familiar to us. Any parent can tell you that the person least likely to listen to you is your child. Not that they don’t listen, or hear what you have to say, it’s just that some time you are just too close. They know you too well, they know your faults and failings and can have a hard time relating to you as someone who may actually know what you are talking about. It can be even worse with your friends, or more particularly acquaintances, people who know who you are, where you come from, who your family is. At least you represent an authority figure to your child. Your friends and acquaintances may simply see you as pompous, and choose not to hear you. Who do you think you are? That is their attitude. In the face of that it becomes all too easy to stop, to sit quietly, and ignore what goes on, keeping the truth to yourself. It is easier, but if we fail to be true to what we know and believe, we fail not only our friends and family. We fail ourselves and we fail God. Jeremiah did not want to speak, he longed to be quiet, to keep the peace and avoid controversy. He did not want to speak, but did, with the assurance that God was with him. He spoke as God urged him to, despite the unrest his message caused, because he came to trust that God was with him. Jesus spoke unsettling words to those who thought they knew him. They threatened his very life, yet Jesus did not stop speaking. They failed to hear him, but they could not stop him. He could not be who they wanted him to be, he had to be who he was, who he is. So he spoke, despite the hostility. He knew that God was with him. God is with us, calling us to be witnesses to the truth, messengers of hope, love and peace, all that God has to offer us, all that is part of the truth. Standing up and speaking the truth can be difficult. We face ridicule, rejection, hostility, all things meant to silence us. Yet God is with us so that when we know the truth, we can be true, true to who we are, true to the call that God has given us.
Deacon John
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jan. 28, 2007