The world of popular cinema mesmerizes and enchants its viewers.
>> They transport one to a whole new world of fantasy and fiction.
One is transferred to having emotions, feelings and sentiments that are seemingly joyful or ecstatic or sensational.
This atmosphere sometimes mesmerizes the viewer to stay glued to this ambience, and one feels to just remain in this “world of sensation and thrill”.
>> But the viewer is immediately made to be aware that life is not just about always being happy and walking on a bed of roses…
Life stings us with many realities of hardships, constant problems and nagging difficulties!
The Gospel of the Day presents the disciples of Jesus undergoing a comparable “cinematic feeling” – moving from the miraculous world of amazement to a harsh world of fear and doubt!
The passage begins with the verse, “While they were all amazed at his every deed…” (Lk 9:37)
When we re-trace back to some of the prior verses in the 9th Chapter of St Luke, we see that the disciples had every reason to be amazed and to find themselves in a “world of sensation and thrill”…
>> Jesus had cast out an unclean spirit who had tormented the only child of a father (Lk 9:37-43)
>> Jesus had been transfigured on the mountain sharing His glory with Moses and Elijah (Lk 9: 28-36)
>> Jesus had multiplied the bread and the fish to feed over five thousand people (Lk 9: 10-17)
These events and deeds were indeed strong enough for the disciples to go overboard with feelings of astonishment!
“They were all amazed at the greatness of God!” (Lk 9:37)
They couldn’t look at Jesus and not be amazed.
>> They couldn’t look at Jesus and not be astonished.
They were amazed at the greatness of God manifest in Jesus.
>> He was God and they could feel His Divinity and His Power!
But the Lord is a practical person.
>> He doesn’t let his followers to have a worldly outlook in being His disciple.
>> He doesn’t give in to letting people be stirred with mere external peripherals.
>> He doesn’t run away from boldly accepting the realities and tragedies of this life.
Jesus is not an escapist.
>> He doesn’t allow Himself to be a drug for transient pleasures.
And so, Jesus reminds his excited and amazed disciples, of the future of his life, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men” (Lk 9:44)
Jesus brings them down from a ” flashy world of miracles and wonders”…
… to the ” naked world of the Cross”.
Jesus calls them back from a “happy-to-be-enjoying moments of glory”…
… to the “wanting-to-be-freed moments of humiliation”.
Jesus pulls them from a “comfortable situation of fame”…
… to the “unpleasant situation of shame”.
The Gospel goes on the say, “..and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying” (Lk 9:45b).
What made the disciples to be fearful in clearing this doubt from their Master?
We don’t know the exact reasons…but…
>> Like a child who is hesitant to look at the report card fearing a negative result…
>> Like a patient who is hesitant to look at the doctor’s report fearing a negative result…
>> Like a criminal who is hesitant to hear the verdict of the judge fearing a negative result…
Could it be that the disciples knew…
… that the shadow of the Cross would spoil their moments of splendour…?
… that the disciples knew that the hard Gospel teaching would snatch away their moments of pleasure?
… that the committed Christ would make them sacrifice their will for the Will of God?
Like the Disciples, we too could often find ourselves to be amazed in the in the “world of sensation and thrill” but afraid to descend to the “realms of hardships and pain”.
The author of the Book of Ecclesiastes will remind us of the transience and fleeting character of the pleasures of this life with the words, “Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity” and to “remember your creator in the days of your youth…” (Ecl 12:1, 8).
Yes, it is DESIRABLE to live always in a world of amazement and thrills…
… but it is DISCOVERED that life is more often a world of complications and calamities…
>> And so, it is a must, to DECIDE to one answers life’s challenges with a greater determination!
Today, let us re-commit our lives once again to the Lord…
… Who Himself was bold and strong to face the challenges and struggles of life.
In Him we have the strength!
>> In Him we have the courage!
God Bless! Live Jesus!