Creighton University's Online Ministries
March 27th, 2009
Dick Hauser, S.J,
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Today’s gospel reveals a Jesus who is forthright as well as prudent in proclaiming the message from his Father.
He is forthright, speaking openly in public even in the sacred temple area itself. No amount of intimidation by the religious authorities could stop him from proclaiming his message. Courageously he witnesses to the truths his Father —the one who sent him — gave him to proclaim.
Yet we also witness a Jesus who is prudent. Carefully he arranges circumstances enabling him to proclaim his message. Only after fully proclaiming God’s message did he permit the authorities to arrest him. And then like all true Israeli prophets he was willing to suffer the consequences of his proclamation.
Jesus’ example is significant for us. Through baptism we have become his presence and his voice for our families, friends and communities. Our baptismal vocations call us to continue his prophetic role. This means we must be both forthright and prudent in witnessing to the truth we have been given.
We must be forthright. If we don’t have the courage to speak to our families, friends and communities about the deepest truths in our lives, we are not fully living our vocations. And, sadly, our families, friends and communities are deprived of the greatest gift we have to share with them — our faith.
And we must be prudent. We need to find occasions that are appropriate for this witnessing -- we don’t want to be dismissed as religious fanatics. Yet there will be times we must take the risk because the message is so important. Perhaps this is what Jesus envisioned in the Beatitudes: “Blest are you when they insult and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven; they persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way” (Matthew 5:11-12).
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