Jesus came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. Many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? And they took offense at him.
The people were amazed at the Lord’s wisdom. They were stunned by His humble background. They were shocked by his mighty deeds. And they were deeply offended at Him.
Oh, how jealousy can quickly turn into contempt!
Every morning I briefly scan the national and local headlines. I was appalled to read that a group of demonstrators, representing the Occupy movement, infiltrated a Pro-Life rally and threw condoms at Catholic school girls. We all know that a group that cannot win over supporters with sound logic will typically resort to violence. The Occupy movement has resorted to violence in almost all of its demonstrations, and although it claims to represent the 99%, it doesn’t; not yet at least. Our nation may be a violent nation, but it has not reached the 99 percentile!
Gay folks, lefties, tree huggers, and human & animal equality movements all pride themselves on being tolerant. It’s all true, as long as you are on their side. Rick Santorum, the GOP presidential candidate personally knows how tolerant these folks really are. At almost every political event he attends, he is routinely showered by pink and purple glitter by gay rights activists. Why? Because he belongs to the 99%.
The ACLU prides itself on being tolerant on the intolerant. They defend all types of groups (the Klu Klux Klan, Planned Parenthood, NAMBLA, etc…) and all types of rights (gay rights, abortion rights, atheist’s rights, etc…). But when it comes to Christians and their religious rights, that’s where they draw the line. They prefer to side with the 1%.
Last year, when our courageous Bishops voiced their opposition to the current Administration’s health care plan, the president of all Catholic hospitals, a nun, vigorously attacked the Bishops! Now, she has seen the light, for the President’s Administration has demanded, for the first time ever, that the first Amendment, that guarantees the free exercise of religion, be restricted. Catholic institutions, such as hospitals and schools, are now required to go against their conscious and pay for sterilizations, contraceptives and the morning after pill to all of their employees. This is an outrageous demand that should be met with outrage! The only good news is that the Obama Administration has done what no other president has ever done: they have united Americans of different faiths. That should include 99% of Americans!
But let us not fool ourselves.
When the Lord came into the world, he represented less than 1% of the world. Yes, there was no one else like him. No one ever forgave like he did, gave like he did, and loved like he did. He was truly one of a kind. And the 99% were offended by him!
May we never forget the words of our King: “I tell you the truth, no slave is greater than his master. If they hated me, they will hate you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (Jn 13:16).
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we will ever be popular. We won’t! But neither will we give up!
Lord, forgive the wrong I have done! (Ps. 32:5c) “You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.”