Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Culture of Our Family

Today's readings (Jeremiah 26:11-16,24) and Gospel (Matthew 14:1-12) tell about two people who spoke the truth - John the Baptist and Jeremiah. 

John spoke up against the sin of Herod taking his brother's wife. Surely, it is not pleasing to the deliberate sinner to hear of his own sin. While Herod was afraid to put John to death, Herodias was not. She hated John for laying out so openly the sin she refused to turn away from. She could not stand the light that John shone on her darkness. Wanting to remain in her darkness, she had the head of the Baptist on a platter. She snuffed out the light that made her bare. 

Jeremiah was close to being put to death by the priests and prophets for pointing out the truth of their sinfulness and the anger of God. Pride masks darkness and lies to avoid the light. Not wanting to hear that they are wrong. Not wanting to change for the better. Not wanting to admit their inadequacies. Can such hearts come before God in sincerity? These so called ministers of the law and truth.

Light or darkness?
Truth or lie?
Do we not have to choose one over the other everyday of our lives? 
And which have we been choosing?
Have our choices been conditional on the price attached? 
If it is not too easy to choose the truth, then maybe I will speak the opposite this time. God will understand my reasons.
If the truth is going to land me in trouble because of a mistake I made, then... better not. It will be disastrous if the truth is out. 
If the truth is going to be difficult for the other person to accept, then I had better find a way to make it diluted so it does not come across too harsh. What if the person cannot take it? 

Rejection, persecution, insult, etc and in the cases of our readings today, death. These are the consequences of upholding the truth. To what extent are we prepared to accept them in our daily Christian living? 

Beyond the choice between telling a truth or a lie is the choice between living the Truth or the lie. And the only mode to living the Truth is that of our deeds. Upholding the Truth, that is Jesus Himself. Being a witness of His love and mercy, compassion and faithfulness by being these to others, bringing these values to the world. Being a witness that He is our God, the one true God, who came to invite us into the Family of the Trinity. And being family, to reflect what this Family stands for, to stand for what Jesus has shown us to stand for. Or have we been afraid of the consequences this may bring? The sacrifices and sufferings it may cost us?

Those who have gone before us and who have stood firm on the path of righteousness have now been united into the Family of God. John the Baptist, Jeremiah, and others...

Now is our time, our turn.
How may you more deeply embed yourself into your true Family today and every day?

04 August 2012, Saturday

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