Remember that saying we learned as children? Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will ever hurt you. Probably you and I learned pretty early in life that it is not true! We all face rejection, often delivered with words, and it hurts. A special kind of rejection runs through all three of our Sunday readings. It is the rejection that comes when we stand for the right thing, the better thing, when we live by virtues like honesty, compassion, generosity and the other things Jesus taught us. People will not always support us or like us for this, and they will not speak kindly to us. Ezekiel, in our first reading, is told by God to keep preaching even though people will not heed and will resist; Paul, in 2 Corinthians, talks about a personal affliction that makes him appear weak so that he has to bear insults and persecutions for Christ; and in the Gospel, people “take offense at Jesus.” I give thanks today for people I have known who have endured persecution — rejection within relationships and employment, within positions of responsibility in church and society — and stood firm in their beliefs, and did the right thing. Who do you know like that?
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia