"Beauty attracts," but the effects of Christian discipleship can elicit a variety of responses, from welcome to rejection. Jesus experienced this complicated reality: crowded in upon by people desperate for healing, but then later abandoned by the same on Calvary. King David dealt with the same, welcomed by Jonathan, hated by Saul, for the Lord's favor upon him. The challenge for the disciple is the continue to reach out in friendship to others regardless of their attitudes towards us. Such requires courage, the same courage that inspired St. Marianne Cope to travel to Hawaii to care for those afflicted by Hansen's disease. We can adopt for ourselves what was surely her prayer as well: "In God I trust; I shall not fear" (Ps 56).
-Given at the St. Thomas More Chapel (UST-Minneapolis) on January 23, 2020, the Memorial of Saint Marianne Cope.