By Emily Cavins
Just when you thought your eloquent explanation would be a big hit, you learn that not only did it fall of deaf ears but you were greeted with eye rolls and exasperated sighs. What you thought was the simple truth was definitely NOT according to you-name-them—children, spouse, parents, co-workers. Maybe you even get the “who do you think you are?” treatment from them. When we realize that Jesus faced this in his hometown of Nazareth, we can take a clue as to what to do. The common phrase “a prophet is not without honor except in is his home town” rings so true. People are more interested in the opinion of “the experts” or media outlets than they are in common people such as ourselves. Jesus continued to say the truth, however, he did move on to preach to people who were receptive to his message. When met with opposition, he understood that many before him were also persecuted for speaking out against injustice.
We need to try not to be hurt over slights or rejection of our ideas or of the truth, and we need to continue speaking the truth. The charism of a prophet is to not back down from the truth. We need to continue to speak out against injustice, sin and falsehood even when it is not appreciated.
No one likes to be rejected by others, so that is why the reading from 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 is especially important when dealing with this issue. It is called the love chapter because of its beautiful explanation of what love is. As a teenager, I attended a seminar on dating and the lessons were based on the list of love’s attributes. We memorized the portion that says, “Love is patient, love is kind….” except that we substituted the word “I” instead of the word “love.” At first it seemed strange to say “I am patient, I am kind, I am not jealous…I do not brood over injury…I bear all things….” but after a while it helped me understand how to act in love, even if I had been hurt. It has been a great reminder to me all these years to see myself as able to love no matter what.
We have just passed the holidays when most of us were among family. Perhaps you felt out of place because of some of your Catholic views or practices around some of your relatives. Maybe you tried to give some good advice or direction that was not accepted. These often seem to be the dynamics of family, which also then challenges us to try harder to love. These are the same dynamics that Jesus experienced in Nazareth when his great message was flatly rejected that the scripture was being fulfilled right before their eyes. They only saw Jesus as the regular man that grew up in insignificant Nazareth. The hardest place in the world to speak the truth is often within ones own home, but just as with Jesus, you must still speak the truth.
There are several unpopular messages today, but we must continue to proclaim them. Life is sacred from conception to natural death. Jesus is truly the Son of God. God created male and female and desired for them to marry and procreate. Jesus died for the sins of the world. Love God and neighbor. Flee from sin.
Let us remember to speak the truth in love.
About the author:
Emily Cavins received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and has participated in several excavations in Israel. She is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations with husband Jeff Cavins. www.jeffcavins.com In her most recent work, A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha in Jerusalem, Emily has written a guide to aid pilgrims in unraveling the mystery of the current Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which at first visit seems to be a confusing mixture of structures and rooms unlike any church ever visited. This pilgrim’s guide uses illustrations to show each phase of the Tomb of Christ and Golgotha from the First Century through the Crusader Era. The Great Adventure Storybook: A Walk through the Catholic Bible introduces children and educators to salvation history and makes a vital link between the Bible, Mass and the Catholic Faith. Gen2RevCatholic.com. You can see more of Emily on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyToblerCavins/ or at Catholic Family Night: www.catholicfamilynight.com