Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reacting to Those who Attack our Beliefs

...When the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul, and reviled him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken first to you...You thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life... (ACTS 13:14, 43-52)

It is extremely easy to look with disdain at the Jews because of this. We must be careful. Let us put ourselves in their places. Their religious beliefs are--seemingly unto them--being attacked. How do we react when our heartfelt beliefs are attacked? We react at times, outwardly or inwardly, in a similar fashion. I have asked protestants where the Bible came from and who determined what books were to be in it. A common answer is: I don't care; I just believe. You can hear the anger. They feel their beliefs being attacked and cracking. I tell them just do the research. They say no, they will not. If we are afraid of truth, our faith is flimsy, no matter how sincere.

Now, the Jews had the prophets and the Scriptures. When Truth manifested the shortcomings in their sincere beliefs, they reacted in the expected way. They saw the weaknesses in their interpretations, in their beliefs, and could not answer. They "felt" they had truth; but, because they did not, their beliefs began crumbling. There they attacked with hatred. See the calmness of Paul and Barnabus because they knew they had Truth. Jesus, the Word of God, came to the Jews. It was necessary that He do so, in order to fulfill Scripture. Because He did not fill the expectations of the messiah the Jews were looking for, because He went against their beliefs, because He was shattering their beliefs, they reacted in hatred and crucified Him. We have the same scenario here because the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. Once again, it was necessary that the Jews hear the word of God first, because they had the promises, the prophets, and the Scriptures. Because they reacted in hatred to Christ again--through the Catholic Church--they were thrusting God from themselves, making themselves unworthy of eternal life--Jesus Christ.

As Catholics, we have Truth. Although we may not have all the answers to attacks, we do not have to fear: We know we can get the answer because we are the Body of Christ, Truth.When people retaliate against us because they do not like the Truth, we can stay calm and pray for them. However--however, let us not disdain them. We do not want our Father to disdain us; therefore, let us not disdain others. Let us, on the other had, show mercy by praying for them.
--Tommy Turner