As we gear up for Holy Week and ultimately Christ's Passion and Resurrection, our readings increasingly become about the religious leaders' anger and malice towards Jesus. He's disrupting their power; He's calling them out; He's defying all of their man-made expectations of who the Messiah is supposed to be.
"If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works,
so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
The Pharisees recognize that Jesus is a wonder worker, but the wonders that He works aren't in accord with the way they think things are supposed to go. In their minds, the Messiah is supposed to be a mighty military leader who will submit to their heavy rules, associate with the great, and ultimately overthrow the Romans to establish a great, Jewish nation. Jesus breaks this mold from the very beginning. In the beginning of the book of Luke, Jesus reads the following passage from Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
I can see where the Jewish nation built up expectations about the Messiah, but Jesus gently shows us that He is God and we are not. His plan is much more beautiful and liberating than anything we could have imagined. The Good News that He proclaims is that He has come to save us and that He desires a relationship with us. He releases us from the captivity of sin. He restores our sight to see His ways. He liberates us from the oppression of injustice because we trust in His promises. Now is a very acceptable year for the Lord's redemptive gifts.
What are the expectations you have on God? Do you believe that the only miracle He can perform is to cure the coronavirus pandemic in its entirety? He certainly can, but we submit ourselves to His plan. Maybe He's seeking to perform miracles in the hearts of His Beloved children. Maybe He wants to perform the miracle of freeing you from the loneliness of your isolation by extending His wounded hand to offer you His love. Maybe He wants to perform the miracle of giving you the courage to reach out and express His love to your neighbor that doesn't know Him.
I challenge you to take this question to prayer. Am I expecting miracles on my terms? Or His?
-Amanda Nobis, Director of Evangelization