A difficult week for us amateurs, to pull something out of the readings, but then even the great professionals are failing occasionally in Rio.
So let us begin by remembering that Jesus is still on the road to Jerusalem and the cloud of unknowing hangs over him and his disciples. All sorts of things have happened in Jerusalem…Jesus knows that, so to do the disciples and the people he meets on the way. We are reminded of that truth today by the account of the attempt to kill the great prophet Jeremiah.
“For the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross.” We can see in this word from Hebrews that despite the great crowd of witnesses to the goodness of a loving God, something was missing. By doing what he did, Jesus laid the foundation for all people to become believers who would be able to share in “the full assurance of faith.” His would come on a cross, and at a great cost – division. The call to believe would be divisive. And Jesus makes that truth very clear in his statements.
Of course acceptance brings lasting contentment and peace!
One minor difficulty is that he is dealing, like us, with the everyday reality of human stubbornness and hardness of heart…and we don’t have to be high on artificial stimulants to possess those characteristics. So he is still calling the crowds to conversion before it is too late, and we endeavour to be converted ourselves, and to be a sign of contradiction in 2016 for others before it is too late.
He was called Satan by some and Son of God by others. He did say on one occasion that “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
Ultimately, again with an eye on the coming City of Jerusalem, renowned for the killing of the prophets, we must discern the signs and decide.
P.S. A special prayer for the participants and presenters at TEAMS Oceania Formation Weekend at Templestowe commencing on Friday August 19.