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Lenten Reflection: Day 21
Gospel, Luke 4:24-30
Why is there a specific image built around or stereotype demarcated about people who are expected to be or could possibly be bearers of God’s message and truth? I remember watching one of the General Audiences of Pope Francis where he said that being a saint does not call for people to be always seen with serious and pious faces. Drawing from his wisdom, I sincerely believe that there is spark of The Truth, holiness, love, mercy and peace in every person of goodwill. Whether he looks like a peasant or a billionaire, outcast or a community leader, child or elderly. One who does God’s will, lets the light of God penetrate through the heart, mind and spirit of people who long to earnestly receive such light. Such an instrument of God is not always someone who is extraordinary or outstanding, and does not necessarily be someone from a different land or clan. God who is omnibenevolent can choose to empower the weakest or the meekest or the least known among our own, to be His mighty instrument of grace and blessing.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus points out that ‘the people’ whom God led by his own hands, out of slavery and persecution, will not step-back from blessing the gentiles or non-believers with the same if not more from his heavenly bounty. For example, the incredible faith of the Roman Centurion who had his request granted by Jesus healing his servant. And as mentioned in this Gospel, about how God used Elijah and Elisha to be an instrument of God’s blessing to the widow in Sidonia and the Syrian leper, who were both gentiles.
Experiencing resentment, rejection and disapproval from the community or family to which we belong is not alien from what Christ Himself experienced. His very own people rejected Him, so much so that they plotted to kill Him. But He did not grow hatred or animosity for them. Instead He chose to continue to share the ‘good news’ of the Kingdom of God to all those who wanted to ‘listen’. Be it Jews or Gentiles.
By answering the prayers of non-believers or gentiles, Jesus teaches us that His light of truth is to illuminate all those who long for it with all their heart, body, mind and soul. Therefore my friends, may we all be bearers of The Way, The Truth and The Light, to not only those who believe in Christ and worship Him, but also to those who have not yet found communion with His sheepfold. We have to be in Christ, to be the light to the gentiles. If this means that we have to face indescribable persecution, many a times from our very own, then may our spirit and body eacho, “Father not my will, but Yours be done.”