January 23.  Moses told his church friends. “There is a well-known phenomenon today that some religious “prophets”, “bishops” and pastors are able to attract vast numbers of followers, even sometimes when these leaders are exposed as dishonest and frauds while others are really saintly people. Is it a personality thing, an ability to preach well?  Was this the case with Jesus?  Did he arouse the people with his personality and so gained the enmity of the religious leaders?  But how many of the crowds that followed him eventually adopt his controversial message of the Beatitudes that still challenges us today?     

At that time Jesus went home with his disciples and the crowd came together so that they could not even eat. His friends went out to seize him for they said, “he is beside himself.”   Mark 3:20-21.  

Pope Francis: We should recognize that destructive forms of fanaticism are at times found among religious believers including Christian; they too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the digital communication. Even in Catholic media limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned.  How can this contribute to the fraternity that our common Father asks of us? FT    Reflect and share.