Saturday, September 22, 2018
When the people witnessed Jesus providing food for the five thousand, the crowds began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, He withdrew again to the mountain by himself. – John 6:14-15
A cautionary lesson, a model to follow, this unwillingness of Jesus to be turned from His true work by being foisted on the shoulders of frenzied crowd. The crowd had a vision for Him of a kingship not of God’s desire. Christ would serve as King but not the king described in the accolades of the crowds with their rebellious spirit. No, Christ would be King of kingdom of a universal reign.
How easy it is for a preacher to be seduced by the adulation of the congregation. Soon the success and the prestige can snatch a preacher from his or her calling. Arrogance can set in; self-glorification can overtake the humility; and the ego begins to conjure its delusions. So many times, too many times, I have watched godly men and women fall prey to accolades of the crowds.
But it is not only preachers who must learn from Christ’s cautionary example. It can happen to even laity who experienced their own calling. Success and fame, constant adulation by the enabling crowd, these can seduce a soul into the folly of arrogance and the tragedy of self-righteousness. And that seduction most often leads to a tragic fall when the king fails to fulfill the expectations of the crowd.
Yes, Christ would become the Sovereign but as defined by the adoring crowd.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Crz