26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Reflection
Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees; an opportunity and an invitation. But Jesus also predicts that they do not have the capacity to hear, to see, or to understand. They have been given everything, they have been given Abraham, Moses, the prophets and the Law. God has given them everything. Even the witness of Lazarus, “the one who God helps”, who has been risen from the dead; yet they do not listen and neither will they be convinced.
We have been given the wonderful image of God’s people, chosen, beginning with Abraham in that great caravan of time and people, all together, the past and the future in that circle of life that eventually ends in the bosom of Abraham. Yet there is now a crack in the mirror, a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding of the purpose of all these great gifts.
National pride coupled to spiritual blindness always arrives at the same destination: separation and exclusion! Rather than becoming the great gift to the nations, the caravan has become exclusively Jewish; strictly no contaminated Goyim and strangers allowed.
Jesus speaks directly to our world today; whom have you excluded from your borders? Why have you imprisoned my children? Why are you blind to the cry of all those excluded, the marginalised and the hungry, the immigrant and the foreigner?
Why are you deaf to the cry of our burning world? On Sundays you cry to God for help and sustenance, yet on Monday you pillage, you burn and you destroy. God is to be found in all that you seek to destroy, in Lazarus, in the poor and in the excluded. God is to be found in every creature, in every blade of grass, in every ocean and sea; this is where incarnation is to be found. Jesus speaks directly to us today, “why are you persecuting me?”
Power, nationalism, and religion intertwined in the blind conceit that cannot see God’s gifts in others or for others will always persecute, separate, threaten, and destroy. This is Jesus own story as he walked our history and we sought to destroy his memory.
We may cower and seek to look away from this great evil that threatens to engulf us; we may be tempted to grind our teeth and beat our breast in horror and in fear; we may even be tempted to retaliate in frustration and anger. Yet Jesus, God with us, reminds us over and over again that it is Love that has the power; it is only Love that has the power of unitive consciousness, of peace and of justice.
Jesus is God’s revelation and exemplar to us, an exemplar of Love that calls us to union with the source of all Being, the source of all Love. This is always the opportunity and the invitation of Jesus. Threats and fear have no power of or for love, no power of union.
We may call ourselves followers of Jesus the Christ, yet fear and threats can so easily entice us away from the path of Love. Fear and threats may appear the path to quick results, yet they are ultimately powerless.
This is the story of Jesus; this is our story and we cannot align ourselves with any darkness that seeks to distort the face of the beloved.