Memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin: Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“Jesus said to his apostles… ‘when they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.’” (From Matthew 10:16-23)
Whenever asked to offer advice to someone who is seeking counsel, I always try to offer something that I believe in and something that works. I have always found great consolation in the belief, that, “for the person of faith, what you need to do will be revealed to you.” Whether it’s a parent trying to work through a difficult experience with their child, or a college student trying to discern their future and their purpose in life, we all need to be reminded that the ability to move forward is rooted in faith. Personally, I have found this helpful when dealing with difficult people or people who seem to be purposely standing against us.
Jesus offers a similar reminder to the apostles in today’s passage. He states for them a very harsh reality; namely, that they will encounter difficult, selfish, and hurtful people. For all of you West Wing fans out there, I am reminded of that scene in which Danny, a reporter, says to C.J. the press secretary, that she needed to be careful, because, “not everybody’s a good guy.” He was reminding her of the reality that some reporters employ good ethics but some do not. Whenever we face people who are difficult in this way, we may want to use the “grip ‘n rip” approach, but this rarely works. It usually just serves to escalate the situation. Remaining prayerfully calm, taking a deep breath, and trying to allow God to work through us is the safest, surest way through a painful encounter with difficult situations and difficult people.