20th Sunday C (August 12, 2016)
Today’s liturgical celebration warns us that the values of the kingdom will not always be met with peaceful welcome. Rejection and opposition will always be expected.
Jeremiah and Jesus lived and died trying to change the course of human history by denouncing evil and doing good. Jeremiah warned that if people continue in their evil, the nation would fall; but for saying that, he was thrown into the cistern to die. Jesus spoke of waging war against evil, he was condemned to death.
Times have not changed. The fate of those who fearlessly and courageously speak and act for what is just, true and good continues. They continue to encounter rejection and opposition.
We prefer to listen to people who speak what is pleasing to our ears. If a priest, for example, speaks of forgiveness, god’s love, divine mercy, divine healing, of God’s glory – nobody complains. THEY ARE SAFE WORDS!
But if he speaks of corruption in the government, in the military, oppression, injustice, cheating, illicit relationships, abortion …. He will certainly meet opposition from sectors. Those who will hit will surely stop dropping their collections.
We do not want to be told what is TRUE because NAKED TRUTH HURTS. So we surround ourselves with flatterers and admirers.
If a person speaks against us, we immediately want him transferred to where he cannot talk. In some instances… send people six feet below the ground where they will not be able to talk until the Lord comes!
Or we question his family background… engage in blackmail…. And character assassination.
For some the best thing to do is to keep silent and do nothing. To be on the neutral ground and thus be safe. But that would not do us any better.
An invitation: Be fearless in ANNOUNCING God’s word and DENOUNCING what is contrary to his will. It’s not an easy task…. If not us… who will speak and act for what is just, true and good? If not now… when?
Fr. Antonio, oar