Whenever I read this Gospel, I can feel the tension and chaos as the Pharisees argue about Jesus. Our Lord was speaking remarkable words and performing amazing miracles. People’s lives were being changed and hearts converted. Even the officers that were sent by the Pharisees to arrest Jesus came back empty-handed. When they were questioned they exclaimed, “No man ever spoke like this man!” They knew there was something different about Jesus. However, the Pharisees were not moved. They were trapped in their obstinacy and refused to even take the first steps of belief.
As Catholics, we have all encountered some form of ridicule for our beliefs. We may have received derogatory comments for having too many children or for living a chaste life or for going to Mass. Sometimes the persecution comes from strangers and sometimes from our own friends and family members. God gives us the grace to stand strong in our faith and be a living example to those around us.
However, sometimes we will encounter people who, like the Pharisees, not only refuse to believe but refuse to dialogue civilly and honestly. Instead, they sow discord and chaos. Even if you don’t know anyone like that personally, you will often see it on Facebook or in comboxes when people lose all reason and respect and attack those who differ in their beliefs. It is good that we share our faith and stand up for truth but we also have to use wisdom and prudence to know when to step away and not engage in futile arguments.
Arguments do not win over hearts. The work of the Holy Spirit and the blood of the Savior do. These situations call for prayer, sacrifice and charity to truly change a heart.
Is there someone in your life that needs a conversion of heart? Offer up the little crosses that come your way today for them.
Bobbi Rol is full time mom to a teen daughter, three rambunctious little boys, and two babies in heaven. She lives in California with her husband, Brian. You can find out more about her here.