Lenten Daily Gospel Reflection - 2 March 2013
After this Jesus traveled throughout Galilee. He didn’t want to travel in Judea, because the Jewish authorities wanted to kill him. When it was almost time for the Jewish Festival of Booths, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee. Go to Judea so that your disciples can see the amazing works that you do. Those who want to be known publicly don’t do things secretly. Since you can do these things, show yourself to the world.” His brothers said this because even they didn’t believe in him.
Jesus replied, “For you, anytime is fine. But my time hasn’t come yet. The world can’t hate you. It hates me, though, because I testify that its works are evil. You go up to the festival. I’m not going to this one because my time hasn’t yet come.” Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers left for the festival, he went too—not openly but in secret.
The Jewish leaders were looking for Jesus at the festival. They kept asking, “Where is he?” The crowds were murmuring about him. “He’s a good man,” some said, but others were saying, “No, he tricks the people.” No one spoke about him publicly, though, for fear of the Jewish authorities.
Doc Holliday was laying on the bed. The tuberculosis taking its toll. His body weak, barely able to move.
Wyatt Earp stood looking out of the window in Doc’s room.
Wyatt: What makes a man like [Johnny] Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?
Doc: A man like Ringo has a great empty hole through the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.
Wyatt: What does he need?
Wyatt: For what?
Doc: Being born.
Wyatt walks over and sits on the edge of Doc’s bed.
Wyatt: I can’t beat ‘im, can I?
Wyatt nods stands up and leaves to face Johnny Ringo, knowing he’s going to his death.
That was one of my favorite scenes from the moving Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. While it wasn’t very accurate (Wyatt was the only one to walk away from the OK Corral uninjured), that movie had some of the best lines ever written. And the cinematography was top notch as well.
I remember watching that scene and turning to my wife saying, “That’s when men were men.” What I meant by that is Wyatt leaves knowing full well that he’s going to his death. He knows that Ringo will kill him. But he goes anyway. That what I hear when we start getting to these stories about Jesus. He knows what’s coming. He knows that he’s pushed and pushed against the Religious Elite and that, like Ringo, they “want [his] blood.” They “want [his] soul.” And they “want [it] right now.” Jesus knows that going to Jerusalem would be going to his death.
And I had never thought about this in quite this way before...
When Jesus said, “My time has not yet come,” I always thought he meant that it wasn’t the predetermined time set by G_d. That is, Jesus knew when he was supposed to die. But he also knew that the Religious Elite would kill him the first chance they got. So Jesus waited until the last minute so that everything could happen when it was supposed to happen.
While I’m still sure there’s some truth to that, what if it was more like, “I’ll go when I’m good and ready to go. I control when I’m going to die. Not them. No one takes my life from me. I give it up freely, when I’m ready to. Not when they want it.” This shows that Jesus was completely in charge of his life and death.
His reaction to his family follows right along with that. His family wants him to be what they want him to be. They want him to be the King they have pictured in their mind. They want him to do what they want. Jesus flatly states that he’s no one’s puppet. He goes and does what he wants, when he wants. Of course, as we saw previously, that means he only does what the Father-Mother tells him to do. His will is surrendered to the will of G_d, not the will of people.
And that’s exactly what he did. His family went ahead of him and he followed on his own terms. He knows what the future holds, that if he goes he may be walking into the jaws of death itself. But he goes anyway. That, my friends, is when men were men. He truly is the Human One.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br Jack+, LC
PS: I don’t want this to sound like women don’t do the same things. History is full of women who face death because it’s the right things to do. We just celebrated Rosa Parks. She knew that sitting in the “white’s only” section of the bus could have been disastrous for her. Yet, she chose to sit there anyway. That’s courage. That’s the true heart of humanity. Doing the right thing even when it could mean dying in the process. As Jesus said, there is no greater love that giving our lives for others. That is the true reflection of humanity.