Jesus was not a ‘meek and mild’ leader! Although we rightly teach that his motivation for all things is Love, he had no dearth of irate words when his disciples expressed lack of faith or profuse stupidity. So after the feeding the thousands on that Galilean hillside, they are hungry and complaining, again. “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?”
One element of theological reflection involves placing ourselves within the scriptural narrative; imagining ourselves as one of those disciples listening to Jesus’ words and then translating that thought into our present day circumstances. So to you Jesus says,
” Don’t you understand? Don’t you see? Don’t you know?”
It’s easy to acknowledge God’s Presence in a cathedral-like forest, a mountain top view, in the sparkle of sunlight on water. Such beauty! It’s easy to see God in a laughing child’s eyes, hear God’s voice in words of peace and encouragement, experience God’s love, when we are comfortable. But our God is so much bigger!
Consider signs of God’s Kingdom only noticeable if we look down, if we look around, if we go outside ‘our comfort zone’. God calls us to an awareness of Presence and Holiness in the faces of those lined up at the safe injection trailer; in the eyes of the unsteady young man, collection cup in hand, as you stop at a city crosswalk in Lowertown; in the defeated body language of those going to payday loan storefronts, knowing the costs both financially and otherwise; in the discarded fast food trash you can collect and put in a recycle bin; the five dollar bill (or more) you give to the panhandler; in the wild eyed individual, talking incoherently to no one in particular; in the bitter visage of a grumpy old man or woman(particularly if that face stares out at you from the mirror.)
Called to an awareness and to response. What’s yours?
Blessing: May the Christ who walks on wounded feet walk with you to the end of the road.
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands stretch out your hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart open your hearts to love.
May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet, and may everyone you meet
see the face of Christ in you. Amen.