Friday 5 August 2022
Dedication of St Mary Major
Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7. It is I who deal death and give life – Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 39, 41. Matthew 16:24-28.
Jesus’ gentle power
God’s word is sometimes deeply challenging. Today the Church has bundled together some of the most confronting themes and passages for our reflection. God is Lord of life and death, able to wield both as he wills. Of course, sometimes we struggle with this. I know how humans have used even their comparatively negligible power. To dominate, to take. I am sure I would do the same, I hardly use the infinitesimal power and privilege that I have well. It is tempting to see God as essentially just a bigger man, stronger than the strong, and to fear him. Then come Jesus’ words, ‘Renounce yourself, take up your cross and follow me’. This is not a man like me. This liberator won’t save us by arms, and won’t shed any blood but his, as he pours himself out for us. I can trust this gentle power, this Jesus.