Reflection & Dialogue: Jesus the light of the world; a sign that will be rejected.

Today’s Scripture readings give ample material for personal and communal reflection on matters relating to dialogue with certain sections of the society of our own day. One thinks particularly of the word of the prophet Simeon to Mary, mother of Jesus, concerning her Son as a sign to be spoken against or even rejected. Jesus is the light of the world. He is the good shepherd who came to give life to the individual and the world, and to give it abundantly. He sent forth his apostles, and all his followers, to the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Jesus’ teaching and general message is held in high regard today, even by many who believe neither in the Church nor even in God. But even during his own lifetime, and throughout Church history and in our own day there is often expressed a venomous hatred of the Church, her teaching, with efforts being made to remove her influence in public life. While it can be granted that the scandals within the Church are part of this opposition and hatred, quite often these are only taken as an excuse to oppose revealed teaching and the Church’s loyalty to Christ. While all sin, past and present, within the Church must be admitted and regretted, at the same time it is good to recall that Jesus himself was a sign to be spoken against or even rejected, and his followers should be prepared for similar treatment.

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