This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Thursday of the Twenty-Eight Week In Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
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Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter. When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.”
Have you ever been in a position where someone you loved was about to make a huge mistake that was sure to have ill affect on them and on those around them? Would you risk losing them by speaking the truth to them? How did they react? Did they “plot” against you – “Stop communicating with me!”
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus is still using the harsh phrase, “Woe to you…”
After repeating “Woe to you” six times, we can conclude that Jesus wants to make a very strong point. Why is He so hard hitting on this particular group who has just invited Him to dine with them? Well, if we consider the context of what just happened prior – the gathering of large crowds to see Jesus perform great miracles – then it should be obvious to all that the Pharisees are green with envy, pride and selfishness. And their problems are compounded by their misuse of the laws and failure to recognize the Messiah standing right in front of them.
Too often I am guilty of getting so wrapped up in my own agenda that I lose all sight of Jesus in my day. Christ’s heart went out to those who had been mislead and ill-treated by the Pharisees. He desired, out of pure love and for the will of His father, that everyone have the fullness of truth. Jesus who even cares deeply for them is willing to speak out in truth at the risk of losing their immediate approval. His agape love for them will soon prove that he is willing to die for them.
I would hope others would do the same for me. I would hope that they would shock me and bring me back on course to seeing Jesus’ salvific truth in my life.
Today, we recognize Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and martyr who took his final stand for truth in refusing to go along with pagan state religion. As a result, 107 years after Jesus’ crucifixion, St. Ignatius of Antioch is mauled to death by lions. “I am the wheat of the Lord, “ he declared, on his way to execution. “I must be ground by the teeth of these beasts to be made the pure bread of Christ.”
Is there someone trying to approach you out of love? Is there someone you need to be open to listening to?
Are you faced with a challenge: to stand for what is true and be willing to risk the esteem and approval of others?
The truth may hurt, but it always brings glory to God.
This meditation was written by Natalie Johnson, a mother of four and a convert to Catholicism. She lives in Irving, Texas. (64)
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