Wednesday, March 11, 2009


(Reflections on the scripture readings of Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent)

Jer. 18,18-20
Mt 20,17-28

I was reflecting on today's Gospel where Jesus warns his disciples to expect mockery, ridicule and persecution when they proclaim the Good News. In the first reading - Jeremiah is lamenting similar happenings in his life. This brought to mind instances in the recent past when the same seems to take place with disheartening regularity. We have the persecution of persons in our own land - India - whose only crime is to work for the upliftment of their needy brothers and sisters. They are opposed by fascist forces who do not want any selfless service for the underpriviledged or the downtrodden. When the message is not palatable the easiest way out is to "shoot the messenger".

But here is a personal experience that turned out positively. I was once asked by a relative to communicate a rather unpalatable truth to his father. This was the cause of much heartburn and pain in the life of the family. Well, living 2,000 kms away this seemed a rather easy task. Needless to say it was not so. Once the truth was told in as charitable a manner as possible, the recipient went into typical "attack is the best form of defence" mode. I was at the receiving end of some choice epithets maligning my vocation and intentions. Well, that was the last I wanted to hear of this case and the good news was that I lived far from the said family. But a couple of months later I received a letter from family thanking me profusely for my intervention. In the course of time, my relative had begun to take the suggestion seriously and work on his behaviour making himself less obnoxious and more a pleasure to live with.

So when they mock and ridicule and persecute you for telling the truth just remember that always the message gets home: a bit later from our perspective but in God's perfect time.

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