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No One Will Know Where He is From!

Blog by Sr. Shirley Bodish, OP

Why did Jesus travel incognito from Galilee to the great feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem?  This was one of the feasts which required that all Jewish males attend.  The city must have been packed with visitors from all over both Israel and Judea bringing their offerings and sacrifices to the Temple.  The feast lasted eight days and there was much celebration going on.  So what was the feast all about?

The feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkoth, celebrated the remembrance of God’s providing for the people in the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt.  It also celebrated the recent harvest blessings and the people looked forward to the coming of the Messianic Age when there will be the ingathering of all the nations, foreshadowing the work and action of the coming Messiah.  Was this the reason Jesus went in secret to the feast? 

Our Gospel for today, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30, describes for us another reason for Jesus traveling quietly: the Jewish authorities were trying to kill him!  Did he wrestle within himself about should he go or not?  He wanted to fulfill the Law, yet he knew of the various plots to arrest him.  What a dilemma!  Yet, he also knew of his Abba’s desire that he give witness to his real identity.  It was true that his human origin was known, but his true origin in God was not. 

There is buried deep within the human heart the urge to follow one’s path in life but first one needs to discover what the path is and where it leads.  Jesus felt this as he knew his path would be to enact his Father’s plan for the world.  His path led him to a horrible death.   We see this happening in our world of today as we saw people such as Alexie Navalny whose path drew him to offer himself in love for the freedom of the Russian people.  We continue to see this deep human response in the many people whom we know, and those around us, who give the gift of themselves for the good of the whole: Doctors Without Borders, missionary workers in war-torn and chaotic situations, Bread, Catholic Relief Services, World Jewish Relief and so many others.  We may even know individual people whose lives have crossed our own paths and who have impressed us with their courageous acts of self-denial.  We ourselves have given our lives in God’s service and we do feel deep in our own hearts the urge to be a better person, to do what we can for others in need, and to live our lives following in the footsteps of Jesus.  Let us then fulfill that heart-urge as we continue our Lenten path.  Blessings on you all.

2 thoughts on “No One Will Know Where He is From!

  1. Once again, Shirley, you gift us with your insights on the Gospel reading with such faith-filled love and clarity. Thank you!

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