Tuesday, January 15, 2018
But after Jesus brothers had gone to the festival, then Jesus also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. The Jerusalem authorities 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 crowd.” Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jerusalem authorities. – John 7:10-13
The crowds were of a divided opinion about this traveling rabbi from Galilee. Some thought Him a force for the good of God and the good of the people; others thought Him to be surely a deceiver, a prophet of false hope.
Why such controversy about a man as good and godly as Christ? Like today, the crowds had disparate opinions about exactly what IS “good and godly”.
For some, Christ was the hope of a liberation from the Roman occupation; for others, Christ was a dangerous voice who might arouse the fury of Caesar. For some, Christ was the herald of coming glory; for others, Christ was the harbinger of even further oppression. For some, Christ was the champion of the poor and the outcast; for others, Christ was an agitator of the restless and frustrated crowd.
Yes, it is a question people have tried to answer in often disagreeable conflict … just what IS “good and godly”.
As for my own soul and conscience, I find the “good and godly” is imbued with the qualities of love and grace, equitable justice and bountiful mercy, hope and a vision for a better tomorrow. I find the “good and the godly” is not conjured by fear but rather brought forth by compassion. I find the “good and the godly” is self-serving but rather self-sharing. I find the “good and the godly” is not rewarded by earthly treasure but rather by heavenly treasure. I find the “good and the godly” is not a spirit of vindictiveness and vengeance but rather a spirit of forgiveness and peace-making. I find the “good and the godly” to be in the quality of spirit as found in Christ and not in the quality of spirit as found in the Crusaders.
Loved Ones, like me, you are among those who stand in the crowd forming our opinion as to who Christ truly is.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz