If you want a model of holy frustration…look no further than Jesus in today’s Gospel.
I don’t blame Him. If we turn our eyes and ears to Matthew Chapter 22 we see Jesus answering many questions from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees who had “plans to trap him in his words.”
Jesus sounds fed up with the trickery from the leaders not because of any ego or pride, but because He knows that the focus should be on the liberation of the people not the solidification of power and reputation.
Power and reputation can be dangerous realities if not tempered with humility.
What if the Sadducees and Pharisees conspired to work with Jesus and not against him? What if they had allowed themselves to understand that Jesus was speaking on behalf of the same people that they vowed to teach, protect, and care for?
We’ve seen in our own times people advocating for themselves and others—only to have their lived experience questioned. “Come on Justin, do you really believe Black Lives Matter is helping?!” “Don’t talk to me about white privilege Justin, everyone struggles!” “Toxic masculinity…so I’m not supposed to be a male now?!” These are all recent questions that I’ve fielded and I felt trapped in my words.
We lose so much when we deny the reality of another person’s lived experience because it challenges ours.
“Then what should we do Justin, what’s your answer?”
Jesus offers an answer—humility. Through humility we can fully listen, through humility we can experience a deeper conversion towards the Kingdom of God.
During this Lent, how can humility enter your life and create a new heart and a new spirit?
Justin T. White is a middle school counselor, admissions associate, and clubs and activities coordinator at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland.