Saturday, March 28, 2009
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
"This is truly the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ."
But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them,
"Why did you not bring him?" The guards answered,
"Never before has anyone spoken like this man."
So the Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed."
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier,
said to them,"Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?" They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."
Then each went to his own house.
Class of 2012
As a faithful Catholic college student living in today's world, you could say that the odds are stacked against me. I go through my daily routine constantly having to defend my beliefs in God- directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously.
Like the guards in this passage, I went through a time where I was not so solid in my belief, and was susceptible to the numerous temptations and misguiding of the real world. Whether it came in the form of a friend or classmate ridiculing my beliefs, an ad on TV, or an article in a magazine, I was preoccupied with popular society and how I was viewed in it. I knew that I believed in God, but did not know how to fit that part of me into my social life and find acceptance among my peers.
It was not until I became stronger in my faith that I realized that the opinion of Jesus is the only opinion that should truly matter, and everything we do in our lives should be a reflection of that. I decided to take the jump like Nicodemus and publicly defend my faith even though there was a chance I could fail or be criticized. While it is not always an easy task to do, the peace and happiness I have found within myself is worth every frustration. I no longer have that inner turmoil between who I am and who I want to be viewed as.
Although there are days when I feel like the struggle is too hard and it would be easier to just go with the crowd, I remember Jesus telling his disciples that they will be ridiculed and spit on for their beliefs but to persevere because their reward in Heaven will be great. Let us all strive to be like Nicodemus, and stand up for what we believe in instead of trying to cover it up in the face of society.