In the first reading today Jesus seems harsh to the woman. In fact, he is responding to the potential disciple according to ancient Jewish tradition. He says something to push her away. The goal is discover whether there is real faith or this is a whim.
Once again we are faced with the delicate balance. On the one hand, God wills the salvation of all, and we must constantly be looking for new ways to communicate the message to the next generation. Our liturgy should stir, the mind, the heart, and the soul.
On the other hand, we must remain faithful to the content of the gospel, being conformed to Christ, not conforming Christ to ourselves. We cannot surrender the truth for numbers in the pews, or money.
I remain hopeful because I do believe our anthropology. I believe we are created in the image and likeness of God, and there is in the heart of every person something which yearns for union with God, and yearns for the truth.