Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sighing Deeply

The Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.
Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.” Mark 8:11-26

Today is one month after the Parkland shootings, where 17 innocents were murdered and many others were injured, our young people will walk out of school . They want us to understand how foolish and  petty the leaders in our country have been. They want us to change, to be the adults we should be, to keep our youth and our country safe. Instead of bickering and being swayed by funding, our children want us to live faithfully and work for safety and compassion.

Jesus is confronted by religious leaders who are fussing about petty issues. He sighs deeply, the ache of foolishness and pettiness weighing him down. Knowing that there was need all around, he asked them to focus on the people around them, instead of petty human rules. We are invited to open our  eyes and hearts to the needs around us. We are called to see and respond, setting petty differences aside.

Today, I ask God to help me see and respond to the needs about me. May we all live as God has called us, with compassion and welcome for all.

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