In the past weeks, we witnessed many miracles that Jesus performed in the Gospels; from calming the storm, healing the woman with a haemorrhage to raising the dead. This week, we learnt that many hardships were borne and endured, which allowed for all these wonderful deeds. Through Jesus, Paul and the prophet Ezekiel, we glimpse the challenges faced by being messengers for God our Father; although they were all from varied times, they encountered rejection when they tried to spread and propagate the teachings of God. However, this should not deter us from continuing His works.
Jesus was rejected by his own people in Nazareth. This was a prelude to the reaction of the religious leaders of the time, namely the scribes and the Pharisees, to Jesus’ claim as the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) – his proclamation to be the Messiah. Unknown to themselves, even in their wickedness, they were fulfilling our Father’s plan for mankind – that Christ should die, be resurrected in order to save the human race for all eternity. When we try to preach the good news of Christ and face rejection, do we feel hurt or embarrassed and consequently cease trying? Perhaps we tried to tell our friends about our faith, engage them in faith sharing or talk about our experiences with God only to be met with disinterest or ridicule. Jesus continued preaching the Good News, despite rejection and persecution.
We are called to be instruments of God our Father, despite our own weaknesses and sufferings. God our Father commands that we be strong and courageous; do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Jesus is the Son of God; he is strong and mighty, yet he humbled himself to be ordinary, exemplifying by his actions how we should carry out our Father’s works – with humility, strength and perseverance. Jesus showed us that we too can prophesy in the face of challenges. In the second reading, St Paul concluded that he was content with weakness and suffering because the power and strength of Christ will be all the more visible and convincing, when worked through a weak instrument. At work, when we are faced with setbacks, do we complain incessantly or do we stay humble, yield, and trust in God our Father and allow Him to work through us?
The path of Christian humility towards eternal life with God our Father is fraught with adversity. We need to persist and to place absolute trust and confidence in His providence. My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9). Through our trials and temptations in life, we are called to rely on Him for strength, as it is only through these obstacles, can we experience a deeper relationship with God our Father.
Written by Ephrem Music Ministry