Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent. 

“The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.”

Today’s gospel tells us about Jesus, about to be stoned.  How must it have felt to be Jesus?  He was constantly criticized throughout his ministry.  The rallying calls against Him reached such a fever pitch that He was crucified.

And yet, we see Him – in today’s Gospel, and again in the Garden of Gethsemane – remain calm and keep teaching the disciples.

Is this how we react to criticism in our own lives?

For me, the answer is usually no.  Sometimes, I will become defensive refusing to acknowledge criticism.  Other times, as a form of self-protection, I’ll lash out at the critic. The majority of the time, I avoid disapproval by staying silent.  This is not the way of Jesus.

God became human to experience what we experience – Jesus powerfully understands the vulnerability of being criticized.   Rather than choosing silence or becoming defensive, Jesus shows us the better way in today’s gospel.

What truths do you need to find the courage to speak today?  Where is God calling you to release your fear of being criticized?  How would making yourself more vulnerable make you a more faithful disciple?

 

Jenny Heipp is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis.