Some Will Not Receive You

The Gospel readings for several days this week contain Jesus instructions to his disciples as he send them out to proclaim the Gospel. Today he effectively warns them that they will not always be successful, that some people “will not receive you or listen to your words.”

We always want immediate and full success and we get frustrated if things don’t go according to our plans. I think there is a particular risk of that when we feel we are doing God’s work…there is a tendency to say: I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing here, so why isn’t everything proceeding smoothly? And so when they don’t go the way we want, we get discouraged, frustrated, and maybe sometimes even a little resentful.

It is important for us to keep in mind that not even Jesus was successful in reaching everyone to whom he preached. So all we can do is keep true to our path. Mother Teresa addressed this, saying, “Live the Gospel in prayer; live the Gospel in words. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t reach the height right away. There is no reason for us to be either upset of discouraged, but just one thing is important….We simply live the Gospel.”