The recent gospel passage from Mark (Jan. 19, 2022) , points out how evil is not looking for the truth, but is looking to accuse and murder. In this passage, the Pharisees were looking to accuse Jesus. As soon as Jesus had healed the man with the withered hand, “they went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death”. (Mark 3:1-6) It’s an awful passage, describing jealousy and bitterness and hatred and evil.
Years ago I remember a friend saying that time often heals misunderstanding … i.e. that over time things will usually get better… maybe those involved will take opportunities to restore the relationship. The caveat to the comment was “unless evil is at the heart of the misunderstanding.” When evil is involved things don’t seem to get better over time…. they get worse.
It’s always important to try and restore broken relationships. As my mother used to say, “life is too short to hold a grudge”. Yet, it should not be “peace at any price”… we shouldn’t compromise with evil. Sometimes we need to recognize that evil is at hand and that there is no desire to arrive at the truth.
So what do we do when we find ourselves in those kind of situations? What did Jesus do? In the above passage it said that “Jesus was angry and grieved at their hardness of heart.” He certainly continued to probe and challenge the Pharisees out of true love, but he moved on. He did not wring his hands and lament and have a “pity party”. He saw the reality and moved on. This is certainly not easy and we know that evil followed him all the way to the cross.
When we find ourselves in these kinds of situation, may we probe to find reconciliation out of love, but let us not lose sight of God’s call for us and continue to seek to do his will, not being intimidated by the evil that plagues us; we must not compromise with evil. Much of this will not get sorted out until the Lord comes again in glory. In the meantime, let’s keep a smile on our face and continue to love… God first and then our neighbor. And all will be well with my soul.