Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Lord: Chapter 35, “The Messiah”

Dear friend,

In this chapter from The Lord, Romano Guardini writes, “How moving it is that only now that he has resolutely turned his face toward Jerusalem, does Jesus speak openly of his intrinsic nature.” That’s right, of course. Earlier in his earthly ministry, after performing a miracle (what he called a sign), Jesus warns his followers not to tell anyone about it. They can’t help themselves; the crowds follow Him around the Sea of Galilee begging to be fed; and the whole “don’t tell anyone” thing seems almost phony, a charade.

But Jesus meant it. Why?

I think back to our younger days, of how many teachers and gurus declared themselves the Messiah, something Jesus, God made man, was disinclined to do. Baba this and Bubba that—a host of pretenders wandered through the late 1960s and the 1970s, offering the ultimate answer. Today, they have been replaced by the conga line of New Age fakes and self-help authors who dance their way up and down the best-seller list, feeding on our need to be fed. 

Jesus didn’t want to tell anyone—until he knew he had to die and “resolutely turned his face toward Jerusalem,” for a simple reason. Guardini: “Jesus knows that the moment he says ‘Messiah’ he will be drawn into a network of illusions, so he remains silent and tries first to convert their hearts.”

The “network of illusions” is now in operation 24/7/365. Surrounded by little Gods, we are Greeks again, unwilling to consider that there might be a Messiah. In need of conversion, we wait again for our own St. Paul.

Best, in brief,

This series of posts continues here with chapter 36.

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