|St. Paul Miki and Companions|
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." How true this is. How many of us in our own lives have tried to speak about God or things of a spiritual nature only to be shut down by friends and family? How many of us have had real conversions and tried to share the faith with old friends only to have old sins thrown in our face? Yet at the same time, these same people may travel miles to hear a similar message from a stranger.
What is it that makes us reject those close to us and accept the stranger? Is it because it hits to close to the heart? Is it because we have a hard time forgiving or forgetting past events?
Today's Gospel challenges me to forgive and to listen. I have seen amazing conversions in my life and I recognize that God can use everyone if they are open to His grace. I have faith that God can and does work miracles through those people that I would never expect. If I am open to the workings of the Holy Spirit I will be open to God working through those I know and love. Yet, I should be ready to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. I should forgive when my past sins are thrown in my face and use that as an opportunity for reparation. I know that my witness will not always be accepted and will cause others to be angry or disown me (I lost a lot of friends because of my conversion) but I must persevere and not lose sight of the eternal reward.
Lord Jesus, give me the strength to pray for those people in my life who have rejected me because I have chosen You.
FROM THE SAINTS - Fly from bad companions as from the bite of a poisonous snake. If you keep good companions, I can assure you that you will one day rejoice with the blessed in Heaven; whereas if you keep with those who are bad, you will become bad yourself, and you will be in danger of losing your soul. - Saint John Bosco
Read about St. Paul Miki and Companions and their heroic witness to friendship and the faith.