In the Gospel reading, we see the painful truth of what happens when we share our faith with those who knew us before we became alive in our faith.
Like Jesus, we are rejected, misunderstood, and disbelieved by people who don’t understand why we changed. They feel threatened by our example; they don’t want to consider their own need to change. We sound like fanatics to them, and they use this as an excuse to remain uninfluenced by our testimony.
Jesus changed after he quit living an ordinary life in an ordinary town with an ordinary job to begin a ministry that would instigate persecution, and he invited everyone to follow his example. How crazy does that sound?
Making matters worse, he was now spending all of his time trying to change the status quo of everyone’s normal life and their normal ways of relating to others and their normal attitudes about religion — even affecting the status quo of those who did not want to follow him and become like him.
People don’t like to be challenged, especially when it means giving up what’s familiar and comfortable. However, this is not a reason for us to keep silent. We have been called by Christ to share the good news about him. We must make it known that conversion is important, or else we are sinning against him and against those who need to learn more about him.
We fulfill this mission by sharing our personal conversion stories and our spiritual insights, and especially by making this an invitation rather than by demanding that others change.
If you’re being rejected because of this, remember that Jesus understands how you feel. Let the sting of their rejection be replaced by an awareness that God is very pleased with you.
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica