Did you make Jesus sigh today? Monday, 6th Week in ordinary time – Mark 8:11-13
In chapter six Jesus has worked a miracle and fed five thousand people. In chapter eight he has worked another mega miracle and fed four thousand. He has healed the lepers, raised the dead, cured the sick in Jewish areas and in Gentile territory and has taught with authority. In the sane world this qualifies for praise not persecution. Yet persecution is what follows Jesus because it has become sufficiently evident that the religious establishment of the day has flopped and failed and their failings are now more than evident than their fervour.
When faced with the reality of the truth the wise make course correction, the foolish on the other hand go into attack mode. They will stop at nothing because it is hatred that drives them and jealously that fuels them. These words are not just cleverly written lines, they are the experience of the righteous when faced with the malice of the wicked.
I want to recall the words of St Paul in the second letter to the Corinthians when he says, “ We put no obstacle in any one’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labours, watching, hunger; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
Our Lord was innocent and yet the Jewish authority of the day come to ‘argue’ with him. He has worked miracles on earth but they want a ‘sign from heaven’. It is their intention to ‘test him.’ Did Our Lord experience sorrow? Yes indeed he did when he ‘sighed deeply in his spirit.’ Scripture tells us, ‘he left them’ and maybe even us when we become consumed by jealousy, when we falsely tear each other up into shreds even in the Church.
Hear the agony and the deep sighs of Our Lord you who speak evil out of a wicked heart. You who are jealous, you who see the miracles and good works done by your brother or sister on earth and yet demand a sign from heaven, beware! You will get the sign the Pharisees got; our Lord got into a boat and left them. Pray that he may not leave you.