Do We Really Hear?
A Bishop preaching at a priest’s funeral mentioned that as the priest had grown older it was difficult to get him to see that he needed assisted care. The Bishop revealed that the priest had possessed a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. Relying on this, the Bishop told his priest that the Blessed Mother had told him that it was time for the priest to move into an assisted living facility. Smiling, the Bishop told the congregation that the priest’s response was immediate and emphatic: “That’s not what she told me!” Everyone laughed.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians combines several issues and, in particular for today, it deals with a group that thought themselves superior to Paul and his authority.
The community in Corinth saw that there are many spiritual gifts. Rather than rejoicing in each other’s gifts, they began to boast about them saying that one gift was better than another. One of those gifts was the gift of visions. Paul deals with those who believe that their visions made them more important than Paul, thus giving them authority over the community.
Paul was furious, and he defended his honor. If he didn’t, he would have lost all authority to preach – and worse they would have perverted the message of Jesus.
Paul is in good company when it comes to suffering resentment, rejection, and those who question his authority. We see the same problem for Ezekiel and Jesus. This should stand as a lesson for us that when we act as Christians, we too might be subject to resentment and rejection, and subject to those who question our right to say anything about our beliefs and our own being.
What we can discover, is that all that Jesus asks is that we show our faith by the things we do and say. Whether it affects people is up to Jesus. We have to trust that persevering as Christians makes a difference even when we do not see it.
How do we know how we’re doing? Prayer. Hopefully our prayer life is deep enough that we might be listening to Jesus; listening so closely that we might hear Him guide us and convince us that “My Grace is sufficient .” Hopefully, our way of living will make people think, “ He/She really does hear!”
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