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Maligned and Misunderstood

Think of a time in which you were misunderstood. Maybe it was a small matter, or perhaps it was a major misunderstanding that rippled throughout your entire life.

How did you feel in that moment? My stomach always flips, my bones ache, and my mind feels swirly.

Humanity is so frail, and we do not like being misunderstood. We certainly don’t appreciate being maligned, especially by people we know and even love.

Jeremiah sums it up pretty well. He’s basically asking the Lord, “Why is this happening?! I’ve done nothing wrong but these people are dragging my name through the mud and looking to destroy me!”

In the Gospel, we witness Jesus prophecy about the Great Moment in which He was completely misunderstood and turned over to those who sought to destroy Him by someone He loved dearly. In a sense, Jeremiah’s woes are a foreshadowing of the cruelty that would put Our Lord to death.

When we are in the midst of a frustrating situation in which we feel misunderstood, it can be really difficult to have a heavenly perspective. Anger and pride and sadness often cloud our intellect, and it’s a challenge to meditate on the similar suffering Jesus went through on this earth. I find this especially true living as a Catholic woman in this day and age. We are fair game. In the media, in conversation, Catholicism is often treated in a snarky way. Isn’t that frustrating? I often find myself thinking, “But that’s not actually what the Church teaches!” or “If you only understood why we do that.”

However, if we are able to step outside our own emotions, even for a moment, we can find great comfort in reflecting on God’s own moments of being maligned and misunderstood. He’s been there; He’s done that. He knows how we feel. Jesus desires for us to come to Him with all our labors because He has carried them all. And He gives us rest.

Turn to Him today. Let go of that frustration. Look for rest in Him.

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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