I am no one’s sheep and I do not need anyone to shepherd me or to tell me how to live my life! I think and therefore I am and I take control of my life and my destiny.
These notions of freedom and self-determination turn our human hearts away from the one who reveals Himself as the one who is the I AM, before time began and after time will cease for each one of us.
Our very fragile, brittle and empty illusion of control is incompatible to any notion of being taught by anybody, even Jesus.
Yet without this reference to the God who is transcendent; God who is both with us but also outside of time and space, it is not possible to reach into our own intrinsic human dignity and vocation into eternity.
Without reference to God as the divine origin and purpose of the universe and all that is, there is something lacking in our understanding, in our judgements on how we should act, and in the depths of our hearts a great restlessness.
- A leper approaches Jesus. He was an excluded, impure! He was to be sent away from human society. Anyone who came close to him would also be impure; sent out of the community.
- But the leper had much courage. He broke the rules of religion so as to approach Jesus. He says: If you are willing, you can cleanse me! Or: “There is no need for you to touch me! If you are just willing that is enough to heal me!
- This sentence reveals to evils:
1) the evil of the disease called leprosy that made him impure;
2) the evil of solitude to which he was condemned by society and by religion.
- Deeply compassionate, Jesus heals both evils; the evil of solitude, he touches the leper. It is as though he said to him: "For me you are not an excluded. I welcome you as a brother!"
- Secondly, he heals the disease called leprosy saying: I am willing. Be cleansed! In order to come into contact with Jesus, the leper had broken the rules of the law.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.…
- I know who you are, the Holy One of God.' The demonic powers are the first to be recognize the Lord. The early church fathers Chrysostom, Ambrose and Augustine remind us though that even if the demons confessed Christ, but without love that meant nothing.
- While Peter’s confession sounded almost the same verbally as the demonic confession, the crucial difference was that Peter confessed out of love, the demons out of fear.
- St Athanasius noted that Jesus silenced the demons because he did not wish that the truth should proceed from an unclean mouth.
- It was fitting that the truth should become a means of judgment not only for the salvation of those who believe but also for the condemnation of those who do not believe, that all should be fairly judged (Irenaeus).