REFLECTION FOR TODAY
July 17, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. Matt. 12:14-16
Life is full of many challenges. Even within the Church and those most trusted. whenever one is out to Challenge “the this is how it was done syndrome” or those who like control, there will always be a plot and ganging up against you. In our gospel reference today the Pharisees plan to put Jesus to death.
Why was it that Jesus elicited such resentment from the Pharisees? Jesus had healed a man with a withered hand on a Sabbath and for that reason they set out to kill him. Bua as soon as Jesus heard this, He withdrew to a more deserted place where He continued to heal and perform miracles. This was how much Jesus loved His people.
Jesus was not about to let the threat of the Pharisee scare him away from His ministry of healing, forgiving and transforming wounded souls. There was no fanfare, no accolades, no publicity. Jesus did not look for these, He simply wanted everyone to believe in Him and through Him to believe in the Father’s love for them.
The Pharisee had no clue as to the true motive behind all that Jesus was doing. The motive behind the healing and miracles. What was the motive? It was nothing but love. In order to bring justice to victory, Jesus demonstrated how trustworthy God is through the example of his own life.
Jesus shows us how to surrender our life to God everyday no matter what trial, threat or even the tiredness of the body, he relied on Father’s love to carry him on. As Christians, we too can have the same hope and confidence in our God who loves us so much. Jesus had only one aim to teach us to trust in God at all times.
Again, the whole life of Jesus gives us a different idea of the Messiah. At the time of Jesus, the idea of a messianic king was still prominent in the minds of many. They anticipated the coming of a messiah who would be a political leader and would lead the people of Israel out of oppression, making them a free, prosperous and powerful nation.
Jesus’ action did not fit their idea and expectation. Instead of raising up an army to combat the evil intentions of the Pharisees and to overthrow the Romans, Jesus withdrew from them and invited people to come to Him for healing and to receive His teachings.
Reflect, today, upon your own expectations of God. Do you have a long list of things that you think God should do? Do you pray for that list of your ideas, thinking that if you only ask enough, God will grant your requests? If your requests flow from His perfect will, then praying for them in faith will bring them about. But if they flow more from you and your own ideas of what God should do, then all the prayers in the world will not bring them to be. If this is your struggle, then try to start anew by turning your eyes to the Servant Who Suffers for the salvation of all. Reflect upon the fact that God’s thoughts and ways are most often very far above your own thoughts and ways. Try to humble yourself before the Suffering Servant and abandon all ideas that do not flow from His Heart.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your suffering and death and for the redemption that flows from Your sacrifice of love. Help me to shed all false expectations that I have of You, dear Lord, so that I will be guided by You and Your mission of salvation alone. Jesus, I trust in You.