"When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him." Mt 21 31-32
Today's Gospel is a difficult one for me. Perhaps like some of you, when I get involved in a heated argument, it often becomes more important for me to be right than in relationship. I have struggled with this my entire life and it is not difficult for me to see myself among the Pharisees trying to convince everyone, without regard for the truth or what is happening right in front of me, that Jesus is a charlatan. That thousands are listening to John the Baptist announce that he is not the Christ and convincing even prostitutes and tax collectors that his message is from God, the Pharisees suggest that prostitutes and tax collectors are poor witnesses and will do anything to feather their own nests. Failing to even consider the humility and honesty of John, especially when he points to Christ as "the one who is to come," (Lk 7:18-19) they risk their salvation for the sake of their fragile power.
The feast of St. Lucy only increases my discomfort. After Lucy rejects a proposal of marriage, the fellow she spurns "accuses" her of believing in the Christ, and even though she realizes the danger, Lucy acknowledges that indeed she is a Christian. When she refuses to recant her belief, she is martyred. We know little else about her life, but the early church held her up, even including her name in the first Eucharistic prayer, because of her simple, direct an unwavering faith. What a challenge she is to us.
Today, pray with St John that Christ will increase as you decrease.
Which of your faults get in the way of growing in faith?