"Do not let your hearts be troubled...I am the way, and the truth, and the life." Jn 14: 1,6
When I was a boy, I remember my mother talking about a friend of mine saying: Trouble always finds that boy. I wasn't sure exactly what she meant, but I did know that "Billy" seemed always to be under suspicion. Either because he started a fight or stole some penny candies from the corner store, our parents warned us not to befriend him. It must have been a lonely time for Billy. Although he was a good ball player, he was rarely chosen first when we picked teams for a game, and seemed always to be walking home from school alone.
Jesus is forever trying to appeal to people like Billy. He tells those who labor and are heavy burdened to come to him and find rest, and reaches out for women and men who the authorities label as unclean. In many cases, Jesus was successful in these invitations. Tax collectors ate with him, and sinners sought to touch him. Hopeful of a new life or a new lease on life, the broken found in him an understanding friend and companion.
How to appeal to those rejected by our society and invite others who have chosen a dark and destructive path to know the Lord is always the task of believers. Because Jesus challenges us to see with his eyes, we need always to try to look past what isolates sinners from society in order to find that core part of them that is anxious for redemption and life in a community. While we might often fail in our endeavors, we can never stop trying.
Today, have a conversation with someone who seems lost.
Who has brought you comfort when you were troubled?