Wednesday in the Octave of Easter at Mississippi Abbey
Two men, disciples, are walking down the road and quite sad about what has happened to their hero. They describe him as a prophet. They had great hopes for him, but he went down in a humiliating defeat. What will they do??
Today many might tell them to “get over it.” On the other hand, Jesus joins them and tells them they are ‘foolish” (not thinking straight) and “slow of heart” (have misplaced affections”). What is the difference between that and “get over it”?
The difference, I believe, is primarily interior. The effect of Jesus’ ministry was interior. The sadness is interior; the reaction to these forms of counsel is interior. Because it is interior, the difference, too, is one of importance.
“Get over it” is very cold and no one ever reacts to it with, “What a neat idea!” They’ve already thought of it. “Get over it” misses the importance. Interiorly, they can’t get away from that. Something is important because it makes a difference. “Get over it” misses that, too. That’s what makes it cold.
With Jesus it’s different. The two men listen to Him over the course of the journey. His remarks about their thinking and affective assessment of the events strikes a chord with them. Of course, they don’t know it’s Jesus, but “this guy” understands what matters most. They want him to stay and tell them more. What He says makes a difference, so it’s important.
He tells them the messiah is not about arranging agreeable external circumstances. Their thinking had been foolish because it was about externals, informed by their people’s story of resentment at foreign domination. The messiah is about the interior life. Indeed, that was how they had experienced Him; it was affective. That means He touched them at the core and when something touches a person at the core, all else dwindles in importance. Jesus made a difference.
They learned that the messiah must suffer because that is where one reaches into one’s deepest heart and discovers what matters most. And Jesus showed it to others. That was His glory. That was how His resurrection turned humiliating defeat into victory. And it was all interior. It all made a difference.
The two disciples listened to their deepest wounds, laid them open before Jesus, and in the breaking of the bread they discovered Resurrection Faith. That is important b because… it makes a difference.