Archive for October 17th, 2021

Tissot: The Pharisees Conspire Together

James Tissot: The Pharisees Conspire Together

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Mark 12:18-27

Resurrection – Part III: Working

Are you not mislead because you do not know the scriptures?

In Acts 23 we see St. Paul pit Sadducees against Pharisees. He does this so well and he causes such uproar that the Roman commander “spirits” Paul away to hide him in the barracks out of reach from these dueling voices.  Earlier in Acts (Chapters 4 and 5) we read that the Sadducees go to their Roman overlords to silence Peter and John who are drawing large crowds by telling the good news of redemption through deeds and a personal relationship with Christ, and through their healing of people in Jesus’ name.  These two apostles who heal souls and bodies through the living presence of the resurrected Christ cause more turmoil than the Sadducees are willing to allow. Paul, Peter and John bring good news for all of us, and bad news for those who wish to control God’s abundance and love.

God says: When you see corrupt structures that appear to be immune from my justice, do not fret. When you encounter vertical hierarchies that obscure my message of life and love, do not worry. When you come up against closed minds and stiff necks, do not lose heart. I am always amid the storm. I am in the fire of the burning bush. I am in the pain of the thorns and cross. I am also in your heart and mind. Allow me to shoulder your burden. Give to me the anxiety that drains you and the fear that paralyzes you. I am the calm in the storm. I am the water in the desert. I am the shoulders that carry the world. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will carry you through all that threatens to extinguish life and light and love. When you are too weary to work in me . . . allow me to work in you. 

When we are too exhausted to think beyond ourselves we know that it is time to hand our troubles over to the one who sees and knows and understands all. When we find our work burdensome and too heavy to bear we know that it is the day to rely on the one who knows and sees and comprehends all.  When we find the vineyard too difficult a place to live and thrive we know that it is the moment to give all of our watching, all of our waiting, and all of our working to God.

Adapted from a reflection written on November 22, 2008.

To explore Tissot’s depictions of the Passion of Christ series, visit: http://www.joyfulheart.com/easter/tissot-passion.htm  

Image from: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/13462

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