Finally, it seemed, Jesus was revealing who he really was.  Listening to his gracious words, “all spoke highly of him and were amazed”!  …Until he touched some dangerous buttons!  …Until he suggested that God could look beyond his “chosen people,” and in fact had done so often in the past.

When he said that, his listeners were “filled with fury”!  They didn’t just walk out on him – they tried to kill him.

Easy for us to condemn those Jews. How could they simply close their ears to God’s revelation ? Where was their faith in the God of their fathers? How close-minded can people be?

But wait a minute. Am I always ready to hear unsettling words? Don’t I ever bristle when the Pope asks us Catholics to embrace the seriously poor: ex-cons, refugees, homeless people begging at street corners? Ever think (though I wouldn’t say it):  “They made their bed, let them lie in it!”  Or, if my mind concurs with the Pope’s words, do my actions follow it?  Habits still die hard, prejudices still go deep.  

Dear Lord, I do believe…Help my unbelief!

—Fr. Jack O’Callaghan, S.J. assists the Dean at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine with programs in Ignatian Spirituality.