Persecution Reveals True Disciples
RE: LETTER IN which Archbishop Michael Sheehan was criticized
for his opposition to the work "Our Lady" by Alma Lopez.
According to the author of the letter, the archbishop was
wrong for not seeing the piece as enlightening to Catholics, and was accused
of being archaic in his thinking.
As a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
who is very proud of our archbishop, I offer the following observation:
Jesus Christ humbled Himself to come into this world as our
Savior. To reveal the Truth, He became vulnerable, and subject to insult.
When in such humility He placed Himself into the hands of sinners, what did
they do to Him? They mocked and derided Him; they spat on Him and beat Him;
they stripped and degraded Him, and nailed Him to the cross to die. Jesus
warned His followers that the same would happen to them.
Should it surprise us that His own Virgin Mother is no exception?
The despicable rendition of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Alma Lopez demonstrates
the fulfillment of Jesus' prediction: His own Mother has been mocked, stripped
and degraded like her Son.
So it will be until the end of time for all faithful followers
of Jesus who stand up for truth and decency; Archbishop Sheehan is no exception.
The more closely we follow Christ and defend His teachings, the more we can
expect to suffer the same fate as our Lord. And so we find our archbishop
being criticized for doing his duty as a faithful servant of Christ. But such
persecution makes clear who Jesus' true disciples are.
Therefore, like St. Paul, we can proudly profess, "I
am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
FR. GUY ROBERTS
St. Patrick's-St Joseph's Church