Daily Thought For September 2, 2020
Keeping Focused & On Track
“The crowds went looking for him.…”
Today they’re looking for you, Jesus, to try “to prevent [you] from leaving them.” A dozen verses earlier (in Monday’s Gospel reading) the crowd was so incensed that they were going to throw you headlong off a cliff. That was Nazareth; now you’re back in Capernaum and they’re hanging on your every word. Tomorrow you’ll overwhelm Peter, who will ask you to leave him because you’re out of his league and he knows it. On Friday the Pharisees are going to start sticking you under the microscope. They love you. They hate you. They love you. They hate you.… And there you are in the midst of contradictory expectations and reactions, holding fast to the Father’s plan of revealing the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Where am I in this Gospel narrative? I, too come looking for Jesus. Here I am making space to meditate on his Word given to us in the liturgy. What am I really doing here? What do I desire from this encounter? The crowd in today’s Gospel go looking for Jesus to prevent him from leaving their town. They’re almost on the right track. After all, he cured their sick and expelled demons. Who wouldn’t want to have someone like that around? The problem is that the good people of Capernaum are just looking for a village miracle worker, and Jesus knows that his vocation is to be Savior of the whole world.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus never loses track of his primary vocation. He is the Son of the Father—he is the revelation of God’s goodness and truth in the world. He is self-giving Love that heals and restores fallen humanity into relationship with God, even at the price of his own blood. The crowds go looking for Jesus only because he came from heaven to look for God’s lost and wandering people in the first place.
Here I am, Lord. I am looking for you because you came looking for me first. Lord, open my heart and my eyes to see my vocation in life from your perspective. Purify my understanding of our relationship. Lord, throughout the Gospels you followed the Father’s plan for you in the midst of wildly divergent reactions and expectations from those around you. I want to be like that. Help me to see my part in God’s loving plan of salvation, and to stay true to it in the midst of this day’s joys and challenges.
Why do I go looking for Jesus?
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 88–89). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.