You stiff-necked people,
uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets
did your ancestors not persecute?
As Easter approaches, I am extremely busy, fatigue is setting in and my “people skills” are being tested to the nth degree. Still, I have an extremely difficult time “writing off” anyone, even those who seem to undermine my every effort these days.
Perhaps this incapacity to walk away from anyone is a lingering remnant of my childhood. My parents were extremely welcoming people. Perhaps it is an offshoot of my belief that all children –and their adult counterparts- can learn. Perhaps it is a sincere attempt to imitate the openness and acceptance which Jesus offered to those he met along the way. Whatever the reason, I find it extremely difficult to “write off” a fellow human being. This is the reason I cite the scripture passage above. The words are St. Stephen’s, the first Christian martyr. Stephen had enough of the persecutions of his fellow believers and he spoke up. Jesus voiced the equivalent to the scribes and Pharisees who refused to consider his message of mercy while they hypocritically burdened the people with their own preaching.
I share this because we all sometimes find it difficult to remove ourselves from those around us who do not have our best interests at heart. Though I believe “retreat” should be reserved for only insurmountable and unchangeable situations, as Jesus and Stephen assure us, retreat is an option just the same.
Compassionate God, give me the wisdom to know when I have had enough and the courage to act accordingly.
©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved