Friday, September 27, 2013

Bad News

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to his enemies.' But the disciples did not know what he meant.” Lk 9:44

It is difficult to hear bad news. We resist it, deny it or simply interpret what we hear in a very different way than the speaker intended. This often happens when a doctor tells us he is alarmed by our test results, and when he suggests we need further tests to pinpoint exactly what is happening to us, we readily assent expecting that a new test will bring different results.

The disciples of Jesus had a very hard time hearing the Lord when he told them he would be handed over to his enemies, suffer and die. Some no doubt heard him clearly and slipped away to seek a different healer and prophet, one with a less frightening message, but others either pretended all would be well or postured about protecting Jesus from his antagonists. When Peter, hearing Jesus speak of his own death, insists that he will not let Jesus be subject to any attacks, Jesus calls him Satan and tells Peter to get behind him.

Bad news comes to us all, whether it be the announcement of a terminal illness, the divorce of close friends, or the loss of a job and the Gospel insists that we listen, accept what we hear and find a way to accompany those whose lives have been turned upside down. Just as important, we are challenged to allow others to accompany us when we are in need, confused or upset by our own struggles. 

Today, listen closely to Jesus even when he insists that life will be hard.

How do you respond to bad news?

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