October 13, 2022 – Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101322.cfm)
When people begin to honestly confront our failures, mistakes and sins, it won’t be easy to stay calm and welcoming. We would surely feel bad or even feel insulted and humiliated especially when we are not used to honest feedback. This will be more unbearable to a person who tends to display a strong image with a sense of self-righteousness and mastery in many things. A person with this attitude would be more resistant towards his or her critics. This can happen to us when we think highly of ourselves that we also tend forget how to be humble and to be accepting of negative comments and confrontations.
What becomes more dangerous is when we also have grown to be arrogant. Arrogance in our heart could easily make us hostile and aggressive towards those who confront us and of those whom we believe are threatening our good image. This becomes our experience at home, at work, in our organizations and society. This is what we witnessed in today’s Gospel passage.
Jesus confronted the Pharisees and scribes of their failures and sins. Yet, they could not accept Jesus’ confrontation. Consequently, they became unfriendly towards Jesus.
Jesus also pointed out how their ancestors resulted to the killings of the prophets in the Old Testament in order to hide their sins from the people. With this, Jesus knew what was in their hearts. They wanted to keep the people away from the truth and away from God. In order to advance their personal interests, to preserve their status quo, privileges and influence in the community, they developed ways on how to make the common people their slaves. Thus, they created many laws to burden the people, high taxes were imposed upon the people, they developed and maintained a gap among their people.
Because of this, they became furious and hostile towards Jesus as they were to the prophets before him. And so, as a retaliation they planned to also silence Jesus by killing him.
They indeed were cursed as Jesus said because God has already come to them but then they still failed to recognize him in Jesus. The Lord has revealed himself to them but still they refused God’s offer of salvation. These people were without faith. They did not worship God but themselves alone.
Having these experiences in us, the Lord invites us today to have the courage to confront our own guilt and of one another so that we may be able to live in a community that truly expresses concern for each one.
St. Paul reminds us in this letter to the Ephesians, that we have been “blessed with every spiritual blessings in the heavens.” Such blessings in us would hopefully influence us to be honest and true to one another, making us humble and courageous.
Thus, let us allow Jesus to confront us that may appear in different forms. The Lord may confront us through a friend or a colleague who has the nerve to give an honest feedback to us, or through a family member who took the risk of making us aware of our sins and mistakes, or through the Word of God that touches our conscience.
Expect also that it will not be easy. To be criticized and be confronted by our sins will certainly bring discomfort in us. So, rather than resistant, may we have the courage to embrace that opportunity so that we may grow, become mature and be renewed. Kabay pa.