30 June 2016
It’s a pretty common response: You don’t like somebody’s message, and so you “shoot the messenger.” Amaziah did it to Amos. And the scribes did it to Jesus. They “shot the messengers” by trying to discredit them. And so, we hear that Amos is a conspirator, and that Jesus is a blasphemer . . . of course, they aren’t. But it’s a common response to attack the messenger when you’re unable to accept the message they bring.
Now, Jesus brings us a message of reconciliation and mercy. And that’s “good news” for us; we very happily accept it. But with reconciliation comes the message that we have to admit our sins . . . and that we’re in need of repentance and conversion. And that’s a message we’d sometimes rather avoid. Of course, we wouldn’t go so far as to “shoot the messenger.” But we might give that message of repentance less weight than perhaps Jesus intends. Or maybe not.
Whenever we hear the Word of God, or hear the voice of the Church, or the voice of our conscience, we’re hearing some message that God wants to tell us. But the question always is: Do we accept that message? Whether it’s good or bad, affirming or challenging, do we let Christ deliver his message to us? For most of us, I imagine the answer is both yes and no.
But the challenge, it seems, is for us to be able to say—with peaceful acceptance, our psalm from today: “The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.” However God intends to guide us, can we say from our heart that he speaks truth, and that he speaks justly? Whether he’s giving us consolation in the heart, or a sense of guilt or sorrow, can we say—either way—that: “The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.”
If we can do that, then a whole new world is opened up to us. If we can do that, then every day is like a fresh start. If we can be humble before God the Messenger, then we can his companion and friend, today and for all eternity.