Heroism: Those Who Dare not to Act Violently

First Reading: 1 Is 6:1-8

Psalm: 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5

Gospel: Mt 10:24-33

In today’s Gospel reading, the point is made that the disciples of Jesus have to proclaim him to people. But there are many different ways to understand this. It could mean various things, like a doctrine that is to be spread and imposed by all means upon people. But the Gospel speaks of something entirely different. Jesus makes it very clear that words are not enough. The disciple who wants to bear witness to Jesus must do so by deeds. As Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Jesus also says: “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behavior.”

Yes, only what one practices shows what sort of person he is and what motivates him. Words are too often a mere smoke screen that hides the reality.

In the course of the centuries, the name of Jesus has been a label stuck on many things. This happening even now. Yet there is little doubt what it really covers. In the scriptures, God has a human face. If in the name of God people are trampled upon in whatever way, this can never serve God whom Jesus called our Father. Jesus says: “Whatever you do to the least of those who are mine, you do it to me.”

The Church of Jesus is everywhere where people stand up for human rights. The compassion of Jesus led him so far that his actions remained human even at his abasement on the cross. The Gospel is disarming and honors heroes who are without glory. True disciples of Jesus dare to be nonviolent. This is the only kind of heroism God recognizes.

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