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JESUS HAD NO TIME TO GRIEVE

Father Francis's picture
Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jer. 28:1-17 & Mt. 14:13-21

People in this life who want 'to get ahead' usually learn to tell others what they want to hear! It takes courage to say what they need to hear. Jeremiah was one of those with courage; his contemporary, Hananiah, was intent upon not upsetting anyone. He told the king and his court what they wanted to hear while Jeremiah spoke of repentance and renewal as the way to a secure future in God’s grace. That made him profoundly unpopular. That is what was behind the incident related in the first reading today. A conscientious person says what has to be said and does what has to be done.

The same kind of thing can happen today between a mother and her children. Some youngsters are quite content to eat nothing but junk food. If a mother gives in, her children will think her the best possible mother. But this accolade, of course, should be given to the mother who insists that they eat good substantial food. The children may not appreciate now what she is doing for them, but they will later in life.

If John the Baptist was convinced that Jesus, his cousin, was the Messiah why did he not stop preaching himself, become a disciple of Jesus and tell his own disciples to follow Jesus? We know that when John was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah. He did this for the benefit of his disciples, to indicate to them that now his work was completed and that they were to sever ties with him and give their allegiance to Jesus. One thing we know for certain is that Jesus had the greatest respect for John, saying that he was the greatest man to be born of woman. John was the last of the great prophets and lived to see the age that the other prophets had foretold.

We can appreciate how Jesus was filled with grief at hearing the news of John's execution. We are told that Jesus went into the mountains to a deserted place to be by Himself. But He was spared no time for His own grief. The crowds who hungered to hear Him teach and wanted to be healed found His place of seclusion. Jesus had to set aside His own grief for a while and attend to the needs of those around Him.

Lord Jesus, help us to recognise those times when life calls on us to put our needs on hold, to help those whose needs are greater than our own. We will know that You understand how we feel because You shared Your experiences with us.

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