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A Contradictory Life

     It goes without saying that Jesus has been a figure of much discussion and dispute throughout the ages. One of the main reasons why is because Jesus was and is a person of contradictions. Not saying that he himself was contradictory, but that his style, message and livelihood was contradictory to his society and still to ours. His very coming into the world was contradictory to the idea that people held towards how the messiah should come into the world. His teachings were and are contradictory to the rules and way of society. He himself rid of the retribution mentality so alive during that time and instead preached about loving your enemy and turning your cheek to them.

    Today is another example of the contradictions of his message. For the past couple of weeks the pharisees have been trying to trap Jesus and catch him in saying something wrong so has to be able to kill him. However, Jesus has always cleverly seen their evil intent and answered in ways even challenged the pharisees to think again. However today, we hear Jesus speaking directly to the pharisees and is pointing out the contradictions in the way they live. See this is an important distinction to make; Jesus did not live a life of contradiction but preached a life that was contrary to the world he lived and preached in. He himself was not a contradiction, for truth cannot contradict itself.

Image result for jesus    In todays Gospel Jesus calls out the pharisees for their wrongs. He begins, in the passage from Matthew 23:1-12, with " They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear and lay them on the shoulders of others." Immediately flooding the mind, at least for me, is the contrary position Jesus took when he said, " Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened for my yoke is easy and my burden light" (Mth 11:28) Then again Jesus says, " They [the pharisees] do all their deeds to be seen by others..." This again is contrary to what Jesus preached when he said, "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1) Again Jesus continued in the Gospel saying that we should call no one our father nor our instructor. The pharisees at this time were insistent on their titles and power as leaders over the people. But yet, contrary to their position, Jesus says, " The greatest among you will be your servant"  and how the "first shall be last and the last shall be first" (Mth 20:16).

     As Catholics and followers of Christ we are similarly called to preach and live a life of contradictions to the world. For Christ taught us a way that set us apart from the world ( Jn 15:19). We are called not live in a way of contradictions, for this is indeed what Jesus is calling the pharisees out for, but rather he is calling us to live contrary to the world. When the world hates, we are to love. When the world preaches selfishness, we are to be selfless. When the world preaches death, we are to  preach life, since life is the very essence of our faith. When the world responds in coldness and bitterness to faith, or brushes the faith under the mat, we are to preach warmth, logically and faithfully to show the value and greatness of religion. When there is violence, we are to preach and express love, support and pray for those who have been harmed.

      Like Jesus' very own life, we are called to become people contrary to this world. We are intended to live in this world and enjoy our life, yes! But we are called not to become one of the worlds'. We are to hold true to the message and uniqueness of our faith- a faith that is so increasingly at odds with society. Christ, the truth, is always with us, and is helping us to live the good Christian life. With his grace, and our constant compliance we can and live a life worthy of our call.

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My Prayers in a special way today with Texas, who has been faced with many tragedies recently. Let us pray for peace and a solution to the gun violence in the USA and all around the world. May the Holy Spirit indeed come and renew the face of the earth! 


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