29th Sun C
Reflection is an essential element of our growth in Christ. As we reflect over what we have learnt and ponder it in our hearts, we come to recognise the presence of God in our lives.
This Sunday's Reflection
We all know what it is like to be asked a seemingly innocent question, knowing that the questioner’s intention is actually malicious and rude and that they are only wanting to humiliate us. This is what happened to Jesus but he didn’t allow the malicious Pharisees to determine how the conversation ran. Jesus’ answer to them concerning the tax was good, yes, very good yet I know I couldn’t come up with an answer like that if I worked on it all week. Still I have had to work out how to deal with this type of person. The answer I’m trying to train myself to give is: ‘I’d like some time to think about that.’ In fact that is a good answer to many difficult questions thrown at us unexpectedly. If still pressured to answer, the further reply could be: ‘Well, it isn’t a matter of life or death.’
Why should people who are malicious and rude be allowed to determine how our conversations run? Whether in private or public conversation, in the family or at work, the arrogant and rude can tend to highjack the discourse. As Christians we need to take back the conversation to allow our language to build up people and not destroy them. Consider the current political landscape. I heard someone repeat recently an ugly violent remark, by a ‘shock jock’, concerning a politician and I was able to reply quietly; ‘and how does that further any good discussion.’ The point was taken. Unless our public and indeed personal conversations are to be further eroded, we Christians must make statements that stop the malice and allow our conversation to truly serve the good of the wider community.