WHAT SEEMS AND WHAT IS

 

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Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day…because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal… 2 Corinthians 4.16-18

IN OUR GOSPEL reading today (Mark 3.20-35) we hear Mark’s account of Mary and Jesus’ brothers and sisters coming to try to rescue Jesus from a crowd. The people are so keen to hear and see Jesus by now that they are crowding into a house where he and his disciples had been hoping to have something to eat and no doubt a break from the crowds and the teaching. Various translations say that Jesus’ family have gone to get him because they think he’s gone mad but the Greek doesn’t make that explicit, just that the general gossip is that he ‘has gone out of his mind’. But more urgent, no doubt, than the need to respond to gossip is the fact that powerful authorities are getting involved now and they are hostile to Jesus’ teaching and to his growing popularity. Attempts on his life are already brewing, both from the authorities and from within the crowds themselves. Whether or not the family actually think Jesus is mad, his lifestyle has exploded; there are crowds building wherever he goes, so much so that he can’t even get time to eat.
Why are the crowds so hungry for Jesus and why are the authorities so interested in shutting him up? Why do some of the crowds literally want to rip him apart or stone him to death?
Let’s spend some time this week looking deeply into ourselves, with Paul’s teaching about the wasting outer nature and our renewing inner selves, in our hearts and minds. Jesus was teaching about the unseen truth and the illusions of the visible. Deep inside, this resonated with many ordinary people who crowded to get to him; for the powerful and the surface surfers, it agitated and challenged their ‘grip’ on ‘reality’. Hence the transference of ‘madness’ onto Jesus, the source of the crisis. What in our lives are we clinging to in order to try and hold back the decaying of physical circumstance? How far are we really willing to trust the great Unseen? What in us is true and what must we let go?

 

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on June 9, 2018.

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