14 Aug 2015
Memorial of St Maximilian Kolbe
“Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him.” They have a knack for asking him really good, solid questions. It’s too bad that don’t actually want to hear the answer.
And there are people today who question Jesus and his Church; although, sometimes, all they want to do is argue. They ask some really important questions: “Why can’t I get married? What’s so bad about divorce? In the Evangelical church they do this or that . . . why don’t we do that?” They’re good questions. It’s too bad they just want to argue instead of learn something from God.
In the face of the Pharisees, Jesus simply answered their questions with honesty, with compassion, with the truth that only he would know. And he left them to decide. He didn’t force them to accept him; instead, he simply loved them and let them be.
And in that, he shows us how to respond to those who just want to argue with the Church and with God; who don’t have any real interest in learning anything from God. We hear their questions, we listen to them with an empathetic ear, we respond to them as best we can, and we let them know we are always here for them.
It’s a lesson St Maximilian Kolbe knew well: he loved those who hated him, and then let them put him to death in a concentration camp. He was an image of our Lord, who loves those who hate him, and them lets them be. And that is our lesson today: to love those who hate us, and let them make their own choices.