Are you a rebel?
“Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.”
“I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me…”
Both of these verses come from yesterday’s and today’s Gospel readings, respectively. What is John trying to tell us here, as he takes us through the trials and tribulations of Jesus’ time spent on earth? These words communicate the hardship, the rejection, the difficulty that Jesus experienced, preaching God’s message through his human life. They tell us of his greater purpose, of the journey to do his Father’s will, of the condemnation, doubt, and disgust with which others often treated him.
Jesus was a rebel with a cause – he spoke out in the name of those who were poor, sick, and ostracized from society. He ate with sinners and hung out with tax collectors; he spent valuable time with those whom society deemed to be unworthy. He did not look at a person and see the color of their skin, or how much money she made (or for that matter, how she made her money!); he did not take into account the opinions of society’s elite and follow the example they set. He treated all persons with respect, dignity, value – and more so, he advocated for the rights of all people, he put himself on the line for those upon whom the world turned its back. He suffered and died for being what some today might term a “mouthy do-gooder.”
It may be a bit easier for us to value and appreciate our biological family, our best friends, our roommates or significant other. How do we honor the Christ who resides in the young mother of three who sees her only option to put food on the table is to sell herself on the street at night? How do we honor the Christ who resides in the survivors of child trafficking – and in those responsible for the trafficking of a child? How do our decisions about what brand of clothes we buy, what type of food we eat, whether we turn off the water when we brush our teeth – how do these decisions speak to our understanding of Christ in the world, of the Incarnation, of our love for God and our desire to do God’s will?
God is in all. Do we honor the Christ who resides in every person with whom we come in contact – how about honoring Christ in those with whom we have no direct, tangible contact? Do we lovingly accept those around us, who are sent from God as our human sisters and brothers in this global family? Do we dignify, respect and value those with whom we walk this earth? Are we willing to stand up for others, speak the Truth in love, do good?
Are you a rebel? What is your cause?