Jesus said, “The rain falls on the just and the unjust and the sun shines on the just and the unjust.” The difference is to one group the rain brings a flood; to another the rain causes crops to grow. To one group the sunshine creates a desert; to the other, the sun causes the flowers to bloom.
Earthquakes come to every life. When they happen, some grow more bitter and cynical, while others become more compassionate and tender. Quakes alone don’t make you wise, but they can make us more open to the Spirit, which is precisely what happened to the early disciples.
Imagine for a moment how Jesus must have felt leaving that crew behind. He has spent 24 hours a day, seven days a week with them, teaching them and feeding them and healing them. Ultimately, he dies for them and even comes back from the dead for them, but they still don’t get it.
They still believe that his work is only for them, restoring them giving them positions and wealth and power.
Imagine how it feels to have the very last question that your disciples ask you demonstrate how completely they missed all you came to teach them. Did Jesus feel like a failure? Perhaps, or …
Maybe Jesus knew that the faith-quake of his torture, death, and even resurrection was not enough to make them wise or spiritual. Maybe his only hope was that it would shake up all of their presumptions and arrogance and leave them open to the Spirit. Perhaps all God requires to transform us is an openness to the Spirit.
The sacrament with which Jesus has nourished the church for more than 2,000 years is made of grapes that are crushed into wine and grain that is ground into flour. Both must be willing to let go, to give up their life to become something new and sacred.
Rev. Michael Piazza