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Too Good to be True – Family Reflection Video

Too Good to be True – Family Reflection Video

Holy lives of inspiration

According to the World Health Organization, Uganda is among the ten highest alcohol-consuming countries in the world. It is in the same league with countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, Moldova, Ireland, Germany, and Lithuania. In fact, a couple of years ago, they were the topmost alcohol consuming country in the whole world.

A cartoon appeared in one of the Ugandan newspapers, with a man holding a big two-handled beer glass above his head with the caption “World Champions!” This unusual world recognition sparked a national debate about our relationship with alcohol. The central argument was whether this was the type of World Championships we should be winning.

The negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption are everywhere. You can see the effects in families, on productivity at work, in schools, and on the health of the people.

One development though that always surprised me was that, occasionally someone who had been taken by alcohol disappears from the community, goes to some other part of the country for a couple of years, then returns and he is all clean, no longer takes any alcohol, and he is sober. But people do not believe the transformation that has happened in the life of the person. The community still judges the individual from what they knew of him from of old. The transformation is too good to be true! The transformed individual has to work double hard to prove himself, and it can be very frustrating to the individual.

Today we hear Jesus going through a similar frustration in His life. The people in Galilee where He grew up and worked for a while thought they knew everything about Him. They knew His family, they knew Him as the villager carpenter, and here He was making claims that he was the Messiah or Christ. According to them, these claims were “Too good to be true!” His Messiahship was doubted. The Lord tells them that Yes, ‘You know Me’ - but you really know only a little bit of Me. My story and My mission are bigger than you know!

It was frustrating for Jesus to work through the people’s judgement of Him, His message, and His mission based on His background and His Galilean accent.

We have seen people judged based on whether they were dressed in a business suit or not. We have seen people’s ability judged based on which schools they attended, or whether they are in a wheelchair or not. We have seen people’s competence judged based on whether they were ordained or lay. We have seen people judged based on whether they wore make up or not. It can be a frustrating experience.

In this time of Lent, may we pray for grace to be open to the knowledge and the wisdom that comes from God’s Spirit. May the Lord teach us not to rush into judgment about people and situations, may God teach us to be attentive to the promptings of His Spirit.

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About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.

Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.