Wednesday, October 17, 2018
But after His brothers had gone to Jerusalem for the festival, then He also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. The Jerusalem leadership of the High Priest and the Council of the Sanhedrin were looking for Him at the festival and saying, “Where is he?” And there was considerable complaining about Him among the crowds. While some were saying, “He is a good man,” others were saying, “No, he is deceiving the masses.” Yet no one would speak openly about Him for fear of the High Priest and the Sanhedrin. – John 7:10-13
I believe it to be the essence of humanity’s sinful frailty, this impulse to try to control both other people and God. We seem to have this primal instinct that is part and parcel with our mortal fears to assert our own will over the will of God and the will of others. And so often it is ironically the fostering of fear in others that we use to quiet the fears within. Even the Church through the centuries and within almost all expressions of the faith has used fear to control the people, and with much sophistication to bend the wishes and ways of God.
Christ had become the talk of Jerusalem. They whispered among themselves either the hope of this Galilean messiah-to-be or the risk that His new understanding might bring into this cauldron of Roman military threat and seething zealots. Christ was a fulfillment of a long-awaited hope or He would prove to be yet one more false prophet leading the people astray. I sense the High Priest and the Sanhedrin were frantic and determined to manage this “Jesus of Nazareth Problem”.
In striking contrast to this instinct to control others … Christ invited others, Christ shared with others, Christ inspired others, Christ made of Himself an example to follow, Christ offered Himself to others and gave Himself to others. But to seize control … to overcome fear with fear … this was not His Way nor ought to be the way we carry on His Work.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz