Saturday, February 16, 2013

Standing in the side of the Sign of Contradiction

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Familiarity breeds contempt. Perhaps this is the best explanation that can be given about the rejection which the Lord received from his neighbors in Nazareth. That his neighbors were impressed by his preaching was without any doubt. But they could not reconcile the fact that this amazing preaching came from the mouth of someone they thought they knew so well: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” In fact, this remark betrays their ignorance of the Jesus they thought they knew all so well. The truth is, Jesus is not son of Joseph for he was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Son of the Living God. He is the one in whom the Father in heaven is well pleased. However, this truth lay hidden to them – yes, in spite of the fact that they had witnessed Jesus growing from being a boy into a man. This is the consequence of Christ’s kenosis: his self-emptying. The incarnation hid his Divinity. Jesus’ Divine nature was cloaked by his humanity. This humanity of God the Son is, in fact, a scandal. When the men of the synagogue were filled with fury and rose to drive him out of the town, the words of aged Simeon came to pass: “This child is a sign that will be contradicted by many.” He is destined to be the rise and the fall of many in Israel. The rise and fall of humanity will depend on their response to the Son of God come in the flesh. “He who believes will be saved. He who will not believe will be condemned.”

Until this very day, Jesus continues to be a sign contradicted by many. He continues to infuriate many people by his teachings. He continues to divide families: two against three and three against two. This is so because he is the unbendable Truth: either you are for him or against him. The Truth that he is makes him “a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land; against kings and princes…” against false intellectuals and even powerful politicians. They will fight against him, and fiercely they really do…but they will not prevail against him. For the Truth is still the Truth even if no one believes in it…in the same way, a lie will always be a lie, even if the whole world agrees with it.

Today, powerful men bend Christ’s Truth and then disguise what they do as the way of righteousness. The political concept of “daang matuwid” is nauseating. How could contraception be righteous when in fact, it is intrinsically evil? How could divorce be righteous when in fact, it is a blatant affront to the sanctity of marriage? Where is righteousness in the use of bribery and intimidation to get a priority bill passed? And these people in power think that they can trample upon the rights of Christ with impunity. But they are badly mistaken. They will not prevail against him. Thus, we should always see to it that we be found always in the side of Christ, even if this means taking the unpopular stand. Our time is the best time to take sides with Christ. Dare to swim against the tide. Be a prophet and walk against the flow. Always look at Jesus. While the crowd rose and led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down, Jesus passed through their midst and walked away. Dare to be different. Walk against the crowd. Walk with Jesus.

Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! 

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