“I’ll be the one,” said the Hindu. “A little hardship is nothing to me.” He went out to the barn. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door. It was the Hindu. “I’m sorry.” He told the others, “but there is a cow in the barn. According to my religion, cows are sacred, and one must not intrude into their space.”
“Don’t worry,” said the Rabbi. “Make yourself comfortable here. I’ll go to sleep in the barn.” He went out to the barn. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was the Rabbi. “I hate to be a bother,” he said, “but there is a pig in the barn. I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing my sleeping quarters with a pig.”
“Oh, all right,” said the Critic. “I will go sleep in the barn.” He went out to the barn. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was the cow and the pig. (Author Unknown)
In our Gospel today, Jesus did not run away from the sharp criticism of the townspeople. In fact, he stood his ground – he was up to his heart-space filled with Mission energy and ready to proclaim that the Reign of God goes beyond the boundaries and borders of traditions. There is amazement at first with the grace and beauty of his words. Jesus will do something unheard of in his culture – he will direct his ministry even to the Gentiles. Then the crowd becomes easily twisted with rage and rejection. The angered mob, no longer neighborly, leads him out of the synagogue, to the top of the hill and to the brink of the precipice. But he, effortlessly, passes through this “perfect storm” of rejection. There is “no return of violence for violence. Soundlessly . . . divine freedom walks right though the seething mob, its irresistible force bound by nothing on earth. . .”
Something to ponder:
“Leaving home takes courage. We have to be brave enough to explore our questions, to cultivate our dissatisfaction with the present state of things, to notice what disturbs us, what feels unfair, terrible, and heartbreaking. We have to be unafraid to look reality in the eye and notice what’s really going on. If what we see opens our hearts, this is a good thing, because that’s where our courage is found. With open hearts, we can bravely begin searching. We can go into the world with our questions, carried by our yearning to find a simpler and more effective way to live life and to benefit more people.
• What issues consistently get your attention? Which ones make you angry? Which one make you excited?
• Have you glimpsed or experienced a future that inspires and motivates you?
• What do you want to be for this world? What is the contribution you hope to make?
• Are you willing to risk being changed by this journey?” (Walk Out Walk On by Margaret Wheatly and Deborah Frieze)