Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Keep Focused

Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.  When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.  For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.  

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10:17-22)

Strange reading the day after Christ was born!   Our Church wasted no time in alerting Jesus’ followers to the perils of following him.  In those early days, Jews who considered Jesus the Messiah – the Christ – where in contrast to Jews who felt the Messiah had yet to come.  This friction led to strife between and within families.   This helps explain the Gospel passage.   These Christ-believing Jews eventually were expelled from the synagogue – an event or process best described in the Gospel according to John written years after Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

We’re in the Christmas season lasting to January 8 – a point made clear by Father Healey in his Christmas Eve homily.  Accordingly, let’s keep working and living together fostered by the spirit of Christmas with its focus on hope, peace, joy and love. 

Let’s continue to respect other faiths to smother the flames of hatred caused by differences and intolerance that lead to “scourging,” and far worse.

Deacon David Pierce

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