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There are people we like, and like very much. However, there are also people we don’t like, and sometimes we dislike them a lot. Unfortunately, when we don’t like people, we tend to treat them poorly because, from our perspective, they are bad people. We believe that if they are bad, they should be treated badly. Conversely, when we like someone, we usually think that the person is good. Therefore, we consistently do something positive in relation to that person.

Our two readings for today demonstrate that not all the people we like are good, and not all the people we don’t like are bad. For example, there were many people who did not like Jesus. In the first reading, there were also people who did not like the Suffering Servant. This supports the point that not all the people we dislike are bad, and not all the people we like are good.

Similarly, if not everyone likes you, don’t consider yourself bad. But if you’re very popular and well-liked, don’t give yourself a pat on the back and say, “I am so good!” We should look into our hearts and evaluate: who are the people we don’t like? Are they truly bad or are they just different?

In reality, the Pharisees, the Scribes, and those who persecuted the Suffering Servant disliked the Lord not because He was bad, but because He was different. He was unique in the sense that everything He did confronted people about their weaknesses. Sometimes we might feel angry with attractive people because they remind us of our own plainness. We might be upset with kind individuals because they highlight our own cruelty and thoughtlessness. We could even be irritated with people who are willing to stand up for the truth because we know that we can easily compromise with evil and lies.

So, let’s revisit our list of people we don’t like. Are they truly bad or are they just different? Are they bad, or are they simply too good for comfort, confronting us with our own flaws each time we see them?

Ws 2:1-22; Jn 7:1-30
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