The WORD in Other Words by Fr John O’Mahony SVD (Philippines) for Thursday Week 2 in Ordinary Time
“He warned them sternly not to make him known.”
On the one hand Jesus was becoming known everywhere in Galilee, people flocked to him from all over to hear his liberating teaching and to seek healing. He seemed to welcome this, responding readily to the crowds’presence. On the other hand, he often forbade those he healed to make known what he had done for them. What is Jesus trying to tell us here?
I imagine Jesus telling me that there is always more to him than we think. We cannot ever imagine that we know him enough. The unclean spirits shout out “You are the Son of God.” What do they know about the depth of Jesus’ love?
And what about Peter sincerely proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah? No doubt about it, but did he know about what being the Messiah really meant and its consequences for his life? His relationship with Jesus still needed much purifying.
And so are ours. We come to Jesus for all sorts of healing, ask him many questions for which we want answers, even instantly; have requests, which we would like to be granted immediately.
I seem to hear an answer: “Well and good and know how much I care about you. But is it enough? Do you really love me? Will you allow me to change you into a disciple, not just for a day, but for life? Remember how Peter’s love for me eventually became so deep, that he ‘glorified God’ by offering his life for me. Will you do the same?”
Let us indeed proclaim Jesus and “make him known,” but always with deep humility as we come to realize how little we really know him when all is said and done.