There are times in life when we just need to find some relief. We can build up issues in our head that need resolution; we can have life experiences that not only cause trauma to our psyche but are a wound that needs healing, from which we need relief.
I wonder if Jesus felt some relief when he was rejected by his hometown, in today's Gospel selection. I wonder if Jesus was concerned about going back to the place where he was raised too see all those folks he grew up in front of, for them to see him as the man he grew up to be, not some construct of the child they saw running around the carpenter shop. I wonder if Jesus, who was fully human (and also fully divine) carried with him angst as he approached and entered his hometown. And if he experienced relief, not at the rejection itself, but at "the secret" being out - the secret of who he actually was. There is a bittersweetness to that relief. We also see relief from Joseph in our reading from Genesis today: relief at revealing himself to his brothers: relief that the charade is over.
This is a good question to think about in Lent: what are we carrying around from which we need relief. We should not underestimate how healing tears can be, how enlivening being our true selves to others can be....even when the cost of such revelation is rejection. For there is relief and release in being who we truly are, as God made us. There is relief in knowing who supports us and where we will not find support. A good Lenten journey incorporates this authenticity of living.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.