“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” (Gospel reading: Luke 4:24-30)
Jesus anticipated His own people rejecting Him. As a Catholic twenty-something who is “living her faith out loudly in an increasingly God-shunning world” (that’s me!), I, too, feel like a young woman rejected by my generation.
Yes, loving and (moreover!) following Jesus in the world today is pretty counter-cultural. But I also like to think of it as revolutionary. Like I said in an earlier post, I’m not only a rebel, I’m a rebel with a cause: to bring Love (Jesus!) to a world that has forgotten that it was designed and brought to life in love by its Creator.
It seems like most of my peers prefer human love and moral relativity rather than Divine Love and Truth. It also seems like most of my peers see me, a devout Catholic, as a black sheep. But I’m cool with that, because I love being led and held by my Shepherd Jesus! And it is my ardent joy to bring others to Jesus by trying to live my own life breathing underwater– that is, clinging to what many in my general roll their eyes at and simply label as idiocy.
Yes, Jesus warned me that I, too, would be rejected by the world– the very world in which He is meant to be King, but is still rejected. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18).
If Jesus lived today, he could probably just tell us young Catholics: “Haters gonna hate!” We’d get the picture.
Loving Jesus today means accepting the fact that I will be hated by many.
In fact, loving Jesus today even means feeling hated and rejected by the very country I live in!
As a devout Catholic twenty-something, I’ve been labeled things like “naive,” “goody goody,” “rigid,” “extreme,” “fanatical,” “sheltered,” “self righteous”… the list goes on. Yet the Holy Spirit gives me the strength to bear these labels with love. Though it is at times painful and hurtful to feel misunderstood and like an outcast in my generation, belonging to Jesus gives me an inexplicable, radiant JOY that nothing and no one here in the world can ever, ever give me!
Giving up the world and all of its ephemeral promises is so worth the exchange of taking on the Cross and all of its eternal promises! As Luke 12:34 says: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Catholic twenty-somethings, let us always bear hatred patiently, smiling and reveling in the fact that Our Love, Jesus, has already triumphed, and that He will remain triumphant for all eternity!