The gospels follow Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem on which places, people and situations change along the way, like different acts of play.In the early part of Matthew’s gospel, for example, Jesus teaches his followers from the quiet of a mountaintop as a wise teacher. They hang on his words. Then, he descends to work cures and hearings for those clamoring for his help.
But as he heads to Jerusalem he meets growing opposition that eventually causes his death. So many seem to oppose him, even those you would expect to be on his side, like the Pharisees devoted to Jewish traditions and laws. You can hear the noisy confrontation as the gospel is read.
Scholars say this is a confusing time the gospel is describing. Times were changing and people, even leaders, were unsure where things were going. For many of them Jesus was a threat to the world they knew .
So from the quiet of the mountain to the clamoring crowd Jesus enters the turbulent scene of harsh words and hard judgments, of conflict and uncertainty. Maybe a time like our own?
Let’s remember how varied our Lord’s human experience was. His journey was varied. He’s with us at all times.
He knows what we go through.
- Fr. Victor Hoagland, C.P.