4 August, 2017: Imitation of Christ

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Memorial of St.John Mary Vianney

Reading 1: Lev. 23. 1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37; Gospel: Mt. 13. 54-58.

To be accepted by others is a basic human need. When we are accepted, we feel at ease and are allowed to be ourselves. When we are not accepted, our freedom to be ourselves is curtailed. Being accepted by others is a key to success, whereas the vice versa leads to failure. Acceptance leads to effectiveness in work, meaningful relationships and a joyful life. Non-acceptance brings about exactly the opposite effect. (This is human nature). However, we are not always accepted by everyone. Some people accept us and others reject us. We also do the same to others. In other words, we can say that our actions are controlled and influenced by what others think of us.

Is it possible to live without being influenced or controlled by what others think or say about us?
The Gospel of today has an answer for it. It invites us to reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his own people and his response to the same. We see that He did not react by getting angry or upset. Rather, going beyond His human nature he accepted the ignorance of the people and continued His mission. Acceptance or rejection did not affect the ministry of Jesus in anyway, because He knew that He had not come to please the people but to do the will of His Father. The clarity that Jesus had in His mission helped Him to approach any situation (acceptance/rejection, praise/curse, glorification/crucifixion) in an unprejudiced manner and with an open heart – all for the Glory of God.
Thus, to overcome our basic human nature of being influenced and controlled by others view we have to imitate Jesus Christ. Let us also ask His grace to realize His will in our life that we may remain focused in our mission and do everything for the greater glory of God.

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