Closing out Kempis’s chapter on interior conversation (2,1), we note in a special way his promise of peace inside ourselves when we know God intimately and trust God completely. regardless of the words and deeds directed toward us, no matter how vile or unjust.
The Jews call Jesus “possessed” in today’s Gospel that continues the last several days interactions between Jesus and the Jews (Jn 8:51-59). Once again, their inability to think beyond the natural level, leads them into trouble (not new for the Chosen People — see Num 21:4-9). Talk about having your poles reversed! This man of God, who preached truth, healed the sick, and raised the dead, is now demonic?
Ah! Those who call evil good, and good evil,
who change darkness to light, and light into darkness,
who change bitter to sweet, and sweet into bitter!
Ah! Those who are wise in their own eyes,
prudent in their own view! (Is 5:21-21)
Isaiah knew the Chosen People well. Things hadn’t changed much in the next several centuries apparently. It is a wonder that a calamity did not visit itself upon Jesus’ adversaries then and there when they accused Him of demonic activity. Despite the unconscionable accusations of these pillars of the community, Christ was at peace knowing He was perfectly in accord with His Father’s will, a Father with whom He was in constant contact.
In a society, a world, that militates against truth, we must be stalwart, having the interior peace that comes with knowing the Father’s will and doing it. Let us not grow anxious, disturbed, or afraid for boldly proclaiming the Word, regardless of the blowback. And may it never be said of us that we “exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator” (Rom 1:25).
The Transfiguration of Christ: Part of an iconostasis in Constantinople style. Middle of the 12th century.