|Just before today’s gospel passage, we read that Jesus has begun his healing ministry, stirring up questions and anxiety about his identity and his relationship with John the Baptist. John’s followers ask, Are you the one? Jesus answers indirectly, tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Jesus then turns to the crowd, asking them what they expect to see, essentially asking them, Who are you seeking? Do you know what you want? Today’s reading is a challenge to them, telling them they don’t know what or whom they are looking for, so they disparage and criticize everything and everyone who comes along.
As I imaginatively place myself in the crowd, I am challenged by Jesus’ words. Who, or what, am I looking for? Sometimes I would rather be entertained than engaged; I would rather observe than risk getting involved and maybe changed in the process.
Do we know what we are looking for in our faith? Do we want to be entertained, inspired, have our current needs filled or our beliefs confirmed? Are we ready for the miracles of love, of healing, of wholeness that Jesus brings? Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion we hear in the first reading, a rather startling phrase in the context of being taught how to behave in the household of God.