31 August 2009

Unwelcome Words

Have you ever walked into a room -- perhaps at work or at school -- and felt uncomfortable because the conversation seemed to stop at your arrival? It's even more uncomfortable when this happens in our own family! How our Lord, in today's Gospel, must have felt when the angry crowd, murmuring about his parentage, drove him out of the town.

We cannot avoid the humiliations that come our way in daily life. Sometimes we may be tempted to say to ourselves, "If only I hadn't said that" or "I wish I hadn't done this" but most of the time we cannot control the circumstances which befall us. If we were in Jesus' sandals in today's Gospel, we might be tempted to say, "Gee, if only I hadn't read from the book of Isaiah!" To say this is to miss the point of the Gospel. When we try earnestly to align our lives with the will of God for us, rejection and temptation are bound to find us. Jesus, in fulfilling the Father's will, incurred the anger, the jealousy and the resentment of many. We will not be able to escape similar experiences when we walk in his footsteps, but we can be consoled that every emotion we will experience has already passed through the Divine Heart of our Lord.

"There are many people who say to Our Lord: 'I give myself wholly to You without reserve.'; but there are very few who actually practice this self-abandonment, which is nothing else but the acceptance . . . of all the events which may befall us just as they arrive by the order of God's Providence; affliction equally with consolation, sickness as health, poverty as riches, contempt as honor, shame as glory."
St. Francis de Sales

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