We hear about a famous road in today’s gospel, the road to Jericho. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was a favorite haunt for robbers and outlaws.
In the first reading, Isaiah tells us in graphic language what Jerusalem meant to the Jews. It was the center of worship, the center of their lives.
It is obvious from today’s gospel that Jesus is not promising us a rose garden. He cannot even promise His followers a place to lay their heads.
Corpus Christi. Sixteen hundred years ago a Bishop of Jerusalem addressed some converts on the Holy Communion that they were to receive for the first time. He said, “When you come up to receive, make your left hand a throne for the right, for it is about to receive a King.” Cup your palm and so receive the Body of Christ, then answer “Amen.” Take care not to lose part of it. Such a loss would be like a mutilation of your own body. Why if you had been given gold dust, would you not take the utmost care to hold it fast? Be careful not to let a grain slip through your fingers, lest you be so much the poorer.
Today is Trinity Sunday. Our faith tells us there is but one God, and in thy one God there are three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three persons are really distinct: the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son.
Today in the Gospel we read that the disciples of Jesus were hiding. They were hiding in fear behind closed and locked doors. They were shutting out the rest of the world which was hostile, persecuting and terrifying. They felt better huddled together, in isolation and planning what to do next, and where to go.
In our Gospel today we read the prayer of Jesus the night before he died. It is the longest prayer in the Bible. He says, “Father, most Holy, protect them which You have given Me. I gave them Your word and the world has hated them for it. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to guard them from the evil one. As You have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
In 1996 a car accident tore open the head of a 21-year-old Chicago boy named Peter. Peter was gravely injured, in a deep coma with sustained brain damage. The doctor’s told Peter’s family and friends that he probably would not survive, and even if he did, he would always be in a comatose state.
The gardener who spoke softly to the grieving Mary Magdalen in the garden. The stranger who walked with the despairing Disciples on the road to Emmaus. The appearance that startled the fearful Apostles hiding behind closed doors in the upper room. The cook who appeared on the shore of the lake and prepared fish for incredulous Disciples. The shepherd who pursued with determined love the lost lamb.