Saturday, May 24, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: Being Inconspicuous

Psalms 20, 21:1-7(8-14) * 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Proverbs 8:22-36; 3John 1-15; Matthew 12:15-21

Jesus left the area where the Pharisees were plotting to destroy him, but he didn't go into hiding, he had crowds following him and we are told he cured them all. Not something someone on the lamb would do, because those kind of healings, with those kind of crowds around a person, does not make one inconspicuous. And yet, Jesus orders them not to make him known. This inconsistency has always pricked at me, like an annoying pointy thread end on the inside of a shirt that keeps rubbing against you.

Is Jesus being truthful when he orders the folks he has healed to keep it quiet? That seems a bit silly, as these folks are naturally going to attract attention to themselves because they are now different then they were before. That difference would naturally raise questions by people they know, How'd you get better? people would naturally ask.

I have often wondered whether Jesus' humanity was such that although he knew the great works he had to do, he didn't particularly like the attention those great works brought his way. And I wonder if that is a model, that if adopted, would lessen some of the strife in our communities, in our towns and villages, in our cities, in our country, and in the world in general. We certainly have examples of an opposite model, where a self-aggrandizing individual can make a cult of personality form that is injurious to all who follow. Are we being called to do utilize the gifts we have been given in a quiet and self-effacing way, letting the glory rest in the proper place, which is with God and not ourselves?

Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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