February 1, 2018

Fore-feast of the Encounter; the Holy Martyr Tryphon (249-51)

1 John 4:20-5:21; Mark 15:1-15

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

There isn’t a person in the world that does not like to be liked by others. It’s part of who we are. We are pleased when others are pleased with us. It is a type of affirmation that we enjoy when we receive it, and perhaps some of us even enjoy giving this type of affirmation to others. However, we can (and do) distort this type of affirmation. Sometimes, we so much desire to be liked and accepted by others that we forsake truth—we let a small lie issue forth from our heart in order to appear good and well and proper to others, even to avoid being disliked. Let’s face it, sometimes the truth will cause others to dislike you, even to hate you, or worse, be apathetic to you. It happened to Jesus, it can happen to us.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Pilate was faced with this truth in his own house. He did not want to appear weak to the people protesting outside, and even less to those who were his superiors in Rome. We know that he recognized in some small way the truth of who Jesus is, and yet he chose to please the protestors.

How many times in our life have we chosen to please others over truth? How many times have we been performance-orientated, seeking affirmation that distorts love and truth within our hearts. Some of the saints would tell us, daily!

Thanks be to God for the gift of repentance! Like Peter who denied Jesus three times, we can return to the Lord, and cling to Him who is the way, the truth and our life!