The Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”
Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In John’s Gospel we witness Jesus traveling through Judea, knowing full well that the Jews were trying to kill him. He goes anyway, perhaps wanting to be with his brothers and not alone, to the annual Feast of Tabernacles. I found myself drawn into the images of this Feast of Sukkot or Ingathering where they set up booths reminding them of their frailties and dependence on the Lord … just as their Jewish ancestors recalled their roots and God’s protective care everywhere.
Jesus also reminds me of the importance of making time and space for the Lord, especially on our Lenten journeys. Do I carve out some quiet time to return to my own roots … to reflect on my own ancestral strengths and wisdom while in the presence of God?
How might I might respond to being with my sisters and brothers by taking some risks, being open and vulnerable by my words … all the while calling upon God for recognition of my inner resources and strength?
—Vicki Simon is the director of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in St. Louis.
Jesus accompany us on our Lenten roads to Jerusalem. As we gather in our own communities, remind us of our need of you and your promise to be with us always. Give us the courage to speak your truth and be witnesses of your mercy and compassion in our troubled world.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!