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HOW TO COPE WITH MISUNDERSTANDING

Father Francis's picture
Second Week of Easter

Acts. 6:8-15 & Jn. 6:22-29

One of the most disheartening of human experiences is being misunderstood. Jesus knew how that felt. He worked great signs among His people and yet they failed to understand what He was trying to do for them. He wanted to draw these people to Himself as their Saviour and make them hunger for spiritual things, and all they were interested in was for Him to satisfy their material needs.

Saint Stephen, a deacon, followed in the footsteps of Jesus, also working wonders and signs among his own people. His only intention was to draw them in faith to the person of Jesus as their Saviour. Some of them failed to understand him, actually bringing false witnesses against him before the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews. This eventually brought about his death by stoning.

Jesus and Stephen were strengthened by the knowledge that they were doing God's will. This made them all the more determined to try to communicate the message of God's love. Have we not all tried to help someone and met with suspicion or even rejection? Parents sometimes say that they cannot communicate with their children; some children feel that their parents just will not listen to them. We may become frustrated with our colleagues or our friends because they do not understand our motives.

God calls us to use every avenue possible to try to reach others and to overcome misunderstandings. If one approach fails, we must try another. We must never give up on anyone but, like Jesus and the saints, persevere in patience and love.

Holy Spirit we have You, like Stephen, to be our friend and comforter. Whenever we are put to the test by the misunderstandings of others may we trust that You will help us to find the best way to respond.

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