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Go away, Lord but not too far

Fr. Wilfredo Samson, SJ



BEFORE Jesus suffered His passion and death, he was a beloved healer who could not help but draw people to him. As word about Jesus spread, Scripture would say: “the crowds got even bigger,” implying that more people were following Jesus around and watching what he would do next. And we know why—because of the wonders and miracles he worked. His miracles were bringing in more fans, spectators, and onlookers but not believers.

They were curious to see Jesus but had no intention of taking his message seriously. It was probably like a circus. Each time Jesus would make a miracle, people would clap their hands and ask for more. They were amazed, awed, and mystified; but they were not struck and challenged by what they saw. THEY FOLLOWED JESUS TO SEE MORE MIRACLES BUT NOT TO KNOW HIM DEEPER.

Somehow, the crowd loved the music but not the singer. They liked the food but not the chef. They saw the miracle but not Jesus—the miracle worker. The crowd totally missed the point. And Jesus was disappointed. Through his miracles, Jesus was hoping a CONVERSION would come, as they RECOGNIZE THEIR SINFUL CONDITION, AND REPENT.  But nothing. They were awed by the miracle but not by Jesus. And so Jesus blurted, “This generation is evil generation. It seeks a sign.”

We may not understand why Jesus chose Peter as the head of the Church—in spite of his three-fold betrayal. But it was only Peter who publicly ADMITTED HIS SINFULNESS when Jesus brought abundant fish into his empty net. Peter exclaimed, “GO AWAY FROM ME, FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” (Luke 5:8).

Should we also tell Jesus: “Go away from me Jesus, I am a sinful man. But not too far … for I need you in my life.”?

God is also giving us so much. And we don’t even deserve these graces. The awareness of being blessed in spite of our sinfulness should lead us to repentance and conversion.

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