July 05, 2015 - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth. It seems strange, but people don't like the truth if it's about them being wrong. Other times people say they want to hear the truth, but then they react badly once they've heard it.
Do we have the courage to listen to the truth? Maybe not. We prefer to believe what we want. And the problem with that is that lies are easy and the truth is hard. Lies compete against the truth. The truth is rare and lies are commonplace.
Don't tell us what is right. Don't tell us the truth. Tell us nice things. Make us feel good about ourselves. Tell us lies. And we will believe you.
This becomes a problem for us because then we don't want to hear the truth about our nation, the truth about our social issues, the truth about our families, the truth about ourselves, and most importantly the truth about our relationship with God.
Jesus speaks the truth and look what happens. There are those who are searching for the truth and they hear it plainly. But others resist. They react with hostility when they hear what Jesus has to say. Why? Because they don’t agree with him. They don’t want to hear the truth.
Now this hostile reaction from the people is nothing new. The people were rebellious against the prophets throughout all of history. When the Spirit entered the Prophet Ezekiel, the Spirit said, “You are going to go to a rebellious house.”
“You will speak the truth that they do not want to hear and they will not listen. Go anyway. Speak the truth anyway.”
The Spirit entered Jesus and he returned to his hometown to meet a rebellious crowd. They said, "Who does he think he is? Why does he think he can speak to us this way?"
Why do Jesus and the prophets encounter such resistance? It is precisely because they tell the truth. The prophets called the people to change but the people were stubborn rebels who refused to listen.
Sometimes we are stubborn rebels and we refused to listen. Sometimes we don't want to hear the truth. We prefer to believe that following Jesus is easy. We prefer to believe that we can grow without pain, that we can change without effort.
We are called to open our hearts and our ears to hearing the truth that the Lord Jesus desires to speak to us. Hearing the truth is difficult. We will be called to change. We will not want to change, but we need to do it anyway.
Mother Theresa had her favorite prayer. The verses reportedly were written on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her. Can we let this prayer speak the truth to us today?
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Listen to the truth. Believe the truth. And let the truth set you free.