EIGHTEENTH DAY OF LENT
The members of the synagogue rose up, drove Him out of the town, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl Him off the cliff. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went on His way. – Luke 4:29-30
The churchgoers raged against a rabbi and His claims. They chased Him out of the church and then out-of-town, and then those raging sought to kill Him. Why? Because He interpreted the scriptures in a way that challenged their long-held traditional understanding.
Yes, the church folks raged and tried to be rid of Him, but instead of debating, instead of defending Himself, He chose to merely pass through the angry mob.
In the “Justice Christianus” not all battles are Armageddon. In the “Justice Christianus” prophets, resisters, and pioneers often experience unjust treatment by those who fail or are unwilling to understand. In the “Justice Christianus” wars that need not be are declined.
I suppose Jesus could have called down angels with swords. I suppose Jesus could have called for fire from heaven to punish their justice. But once more, Jesus merely passed through the angry crowd … understanding that they knew not what they do.
A tragic recurrence in the Church history has been casting out of those who dared to bring a further understanding of the scriptures. This “holy” rage sometimes led to the unbelievable horror of burning at the stake those declared heretical by the traditionalists. This was true, especially when the orthodoxy was empowered by the state. I would like to say this was a one-time aberration, but alas, it occurred over and over. Oh, today, the burning at the stake has been replaced by more sophisticated ways of ridding the world of these who bring a prophetic voice, but the rage in the crowd is still there.
But in the “Justice Christianus” holy wars are not an option. Merely passing through the rage crowd is often the course; enduring a cross is often the course; even to the point of martyrdom, physically or emotionally, is sometimes the injustice that must be endured.
In an irony found in the ways of the Lord, justice is ultimately reached by the just passing through the injustice.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz