Seeking Jesus

Introduction

Fr Mark Link, SJ (1924-2017) published a book about Jesus in 1971. He called it He is the Still Point in the Turning World, a compilation of evocative images chosen to amplify the themes of the quotes, poems and reflections included in the book. Link describes Jesus as the still point, the reference point, the focal point, the touch point, the pivotal point and the decision point. 

In the Gospel reading for today’s enquiry, Jesus is the point towards whom people move from around Israel. If you study a map of Israel as it was in the New Testament era, then you will be amazed at how far they would have walked or ridden just to be with him. 

This calls to mind the moment when Jesus appeared to the Twelve after his resurrection. He confronted Thomas who had doubted that Jesus had risen: “You believe because you see me. Those who believe without seeing me will be truly blessed” (John 20:29). 

The Gospel

Jesus left with his followers for the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed him. Also many people came from Judea, from Jerusalem, from 

Idumea, from the lands across the Jordan River, and from the area of Tyre and Sidon. When they heard what Jesus was doing, many people came to him. When Jesus saw the crowds, he told his followers to get a boat ready for him to keep people from crowding against him. He had healed many people, so all the sick were pushing toward him to touch him. When evil spirits saw Jesus, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus strongly warned them not to tell who he was. (Mark 3:7-12 – New Century Version)

The Enquiry 

See

  • Have you ever experienced being treated with “rock star” status? Or have you ever been with someone who is sought after by so many looking for help? What was it like to be in that situation? Have you ever experienced Jesus with rock star status, that is, people around you in the crush of wanting to be close to him? 

  • Find a map of Israel from the time of the New Testament and identify the places from which people came to find Jesus, who was at Lake Galilee. Why do so many people travel from all over Israel to seek out Jesus? Why do you go to Mass? To seek out Jesus? 

  • How did Jesus respond to the people who came to him for help? How has he responded to your cries for help? Has he driven out evil spirits from you? 

Judge

  • Which elements of the story show Jesus attempting to hide his identity? What do you make of this part of the story? 

  • What does your faith tell you about how Jesus is encountered in the world? How does this encounter in the Gospel help you to understand and appreciate the presence of Jesus in your life? 

  • What have you learned from the Gospel reading about your search for Jesus?  

Act

  • Wanting to be happy is what everyone experiences. Our consumer-driven world is built on that desire. But the happiness Jesus offers is so different from what the advertisers dangle in front of us. So what needs to change so that the world becomes like the Gospel reading? What needs to change so that Jesus is the still point, the reference point, the focal point, the touch point, the pivotal point and the decision point? 

  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? When and where will you carry out the action and how often? 

  • Who can you involve in your action and how and when will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image source: http://mjdasma.blogspot.com/2020/01/reflection-for-thursday-january-23.html


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