Life can have so many ups and downs, highs and lows. Perhaps to really appreciate life in all the richness that envelopes us we need those distinctions, those sharp contrasts....Perhaps.
Today Jesus tells his twelve apostles, privately, that he is headed toward Jerusalem and his brutal torture and death and his resurrection. They do not get it. They continue their long walk to that holy city and just outside of Jericho they find a blind individual begging, who begs that Jesus have mercy. This is done not once, but repeatedly, annoying the apostles who tell him to quiet down! Jesus says, none of that and asks this blind person "What do you want of me?" and "To see again" is the response. Jesus provides sight saying faith is the saving factor and there is much rejoicing and celebrating and "glorifying of God" that ensues.
The juxtaposition of Jesus alerting his close followers about what is lying ahead of them on this journey to Jerusalem, and their not understanding, set against the healing of the blind beggar and the resultant and immediate joy, is a sharp contrast for us to think about. Jesus was fully divine, but also fully human. I cannot imagine Jesus not feeling some sharp pang of loneliness after he tells his apostles about the coming Passion. And this is immediately followed by joy and celebration at sight being restored to an unknown individual they bump into along the road. Highs and lows.....ups and downs.
As we move ever closer to Thanksgiving Day, with some being gifted with celebrating with families and friends this juxtaposition of life will be all around us. There will be great joy and great heartache for many of us. From the mundane menace of traveling to the abundant joy that can come from seeing people we love and haven't been with for a long time. If we are blessed with those kind of occasions, we need to always remember in our prayers those who do not have that richness in their lives. We must reach out to those folks to embrace and give a moment or two of "a high" that can come from interpersonal interaction, or simply being remembered. A far deeper richness will be gifted to us for that effort.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.