Today’s Gospel is kind of a funny one.
It’s one of just a few in which Jesus says…well…nothing. He’s not even really “seen” in the Gospel. They only refer to him.
The guards who are mulling about, trying to determine if Christ is to be arrested, when they are challenged, say, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
These folks are a confused lot. Jesus is traveling throughout the land, working miracles and speaking to the people in radical ways which they don’t always understand, about things that they have never considered. And they really aren’t sure what to make of him.
Do we follow him, and risk being called --GASP-- a “follower?” Or do we ignore him? Or do we try to combat his unorthodox ways, bring charges against him and, if he’s a big enough threat, put him to death?
This is the drama that was Christ’s public ministry. It was fraught with confusion over his message, frustration over his ways and, even if deep down you believed what he was saying, there was a real, serious threat if you went public with your allegiance to him.
I suggest that we, who sometimes feel at odds with those around us over our faith, sometimes even in those closest to us, listen to the words of the Psalmist cited in today’s Mass:
O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge. Save me from all my pursuers and rescue me, lest I become like the lion's prey, to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me. Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just, and because of the innocence that is mine. Let the malice of the wicked come to an end, but sustain the just, O searcher of heart and soul, O just God. A shield before me is God, who saves the upright of heart. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Some days it really does feel like our faith, our religion, our cause and our mission as Catholics is under attack. Guess what? It feels that way because it REALLY IS under attack. But we must allow Jesus, the “searcher of my heart and soul,” to sustain us, to guide us and to bring us a peace that the world cannot give.
Have a great weekend. And, if I may ask you a favor… Please pray for the Saint Louis Abbey Family today, as we bury our dear founder, Abbot Luke Rigby, O.S.B. this morning. He was a gentle, wise and holy man. And while I am so blessed to have known him, it is so hard to think of this Abbey without him.
Jube me venire ad te, ut cum sanctis tuis laudem te.
Bid me come to thee, that with thy saints I may praise thee.