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Lenten Reflection: Why Does Jesus Make us Uncomfortable? Final Part

In parts 1 & 2, Jesus Christ came down to earth to establish a new world order, lived among us, and showed what the Kingdom of God here on earth should be like. He didn’t tell people what to do or how to do certain things, but he gave hints through his parables. In all his presentations, the audiences were primarily the poor, the meek who “shall inherit the earth,” His kingdom. And when he used wealth as a part of his parable, it was to provide a learning moment.

For example, in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, he wanted to convey the value and importance of forgiveness and mercy. The son squandered the inheritance advanced from his rich father. He came back to his father and sought forgiveness which he readily got with open arms.

This is perhaps one of the more difficult lessons that humanity is unable to grasp fully. As humans, we can harden our hearts and summon our evil thoughts to relieve ourselves of anger, thirst for vengeance and even to the point of wishing a curse that would inflict harm to others who transgressed us – part of our supernatural beliefs.

The hardest, of course, is loving our neighbor. The Parable of the Good Samaritan tells us who our neighbor is. We know the Good Samaritan rendered mercy to the badly beaten man who was on his way to Jericho, yet we cannot follow Jesus’ admonition to “go and do likewise.” Listen to the news and discern how many Good Samaritans are featured. Very few. People are more afraid of the legal implications of helping others in need of assistance for fear of being sued.

Here on earth, it is far easier and acceptable to follow society’s wants and demands and play by the rules rather than following what Jesus said should be our “reality,” if we want to experience “eternal life” here on earth. We would rather deal with theoreticals of heavenly dimension elsewhere. We are earthly people and think that there is something better out there aside from satisfying our earthly desires. Jesus showed us the way, but it got lost in translation.

Pope Francis is guiding us to join him in the synodal walk to relive what Jesus told the apostles that it “is close at hand.” He understands what it was like during the “Acts of the Apostles” and wants us to walk with him and relive what it was like to be around Jesus. But we resist and would rather hide in the majesty of the Scripture. In truth, we don’t want to because being around Jesus makes us uncomfortable.

For example, after the Apostles did their grocery shopping and found Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman by the town’s well surrounded by an audience of hungry 5,000. The groceries they bought were only good for them – five loaves of bread and a couple of fish. One of the apostles asked Jesus, “how are we going to feed them?” Jesus’ back talk was “you feed them.”

When Jesus hanged around sinners, it made the Apostles uncomfortable because of the optics. Similarly, when the adulterous woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and anointed Jesus’ forehead with expensive perfume, that made the Apostles uncomfortable as well. And when Jesus insisted on washing the feet of the 12 Apostles prior to the Last Supper, it was an awkward moment. Would we have the guts to wash the feet of 12 people this Friday?

Jesus showed us how to fast by spending 40 days in the desert without food or drink to fully understand what the Father wanted done. It seems the Muslims came the closest to follow Jesus’ lead. They fast for 30 days during Ramadan with no food or drink from sunrise to sunset.

If a non-believer puts a gun to our head and threateningly asks, “renounce Jesus,” we will quickly respond, “well, of course!” We will not die for the man. Yet, the Apostles died for him, were martyred, or imprisoned.

During the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that one of them, a closest friend, would betray him, and that person was breaking bread with him on the table. Jesus didn’t say who it was so everybody was suspects. When Peter asked Jesus to name names, Jesus told him, “You will deny me three times Peter before the rooster crows and will disown me.” Peter was hurt and said that he will never do that.” Well, Peter did.

Jesus would have given us more parables, but God decided that Jesus had spent enough time with the people on earth and it was time for him to go back. God made that clear to Jesus and that is why the Last Supper was his despedida party where he showed his displeasure with a couple of the disciples. Jesus was unhappy that God has activated his departure plan via the Golgotha Way and prayed later in the Garden of Gethsemane in agony of his impending arrest and torture.

Jesus asked why and tried to convince the Father to spare him the shame and physical torture. Jesus thought that the traumatic experience and death might lessen people’s faith in him because he can’t defy death, but God wanted him crushed, pierced, and beaten up and allow people to see him die. Jesus pleaded “If God could remove the cup (of his blood) but didn’t argue the point. “If this is your will, then it will be done.”

Jesus made the final appeal when he was hanging on the cross with just nails holding his body from falling off. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” His body was weak, he was thirsty. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Jesus was referring to the Pharisees who a week earlier welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem but days later they would shout to “crucify him!”

Realizing the futility of his plea, Jesus acknowledges that his mission on earth was complete. “It is finished,” and surrendered. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” He died shortly thereafter and immediately, the hardest question of why he had to be killed lingered for centuries. Did he die for mankind’s sin, or did he die because the Sanhedrin rendered him guilty of blasphemy. Governor Pontius Pilate asked the people what to do and they voted overwhelmingly to kill Jesus.

So, where was the sin that Jesus’ supposed to have sacrificed himself for? If baptism cured the original sin, then he died on the cross for mass baptism? No, I guess not. Jesus taught people how to love so they could experience “eternal life.” He forgave people (adulterous woman, Peter) while still on earth so they would know that he had authority to forgive sins on earth. Jesus taught people to forgive those who trespass against them. To love, according to Jesus, fulfills every command, Law and rule.


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