Day 23: Following Jerusalem Jesus

Jerusalem Jesus

BY TOM ULRICH | March 24, 2022
Today’s Readings

In today’s Gospel, we come face-to-face with Jerusalem Jesus. Jerusalem Jesus is the intense, steely Christ who threw the money changers out of the Temple; who fiercely confronted the Pharisees; who confounded those holding institutional authority who were testing him. He shockingly claimed that God will attend to the poor before the wealthy. Jerusalem Jesus was executed for being a threat to the economic, social-cultural, political order of his day. Luke 11:14-23 gives us a glimpse of a peaceful Jesus who is filled with righteous “holy frustration” at those refusing to hear him. Jerusalem Jesus is challenging and, if I’m completely honest, rather frightening.

Jerusalem Jesus

Claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ requires us to confront and reconcile “social sins” as he did; to transform structural sins like racism, sexism, poverty, oppression, and the global destruction of the earth from evil to grace. Such transformative action takes an unflinching commitment for the long haul. It also requires the ability to manage our own holy frustration when we encounter self-centered freedom of choice over the common good; defensiveness over uncomfortable truths; disinformation, lies, and conspiracy theories over scientific data and historic fact. 

A critical tool for counteracting holy frustration is the skill of honestly listening for and to God’s voice with a quiet, open heart. It must be a heart that shakes off prejudices, selfishness, and intolerance.  Let’s name that tool Holy Listening. It is what today’s first reading commands.

As we practice “holy listening” on our Lenten journey this year, God’s call will certainly invite us to follow the gentle, compassionate, healer Galilee Jesus who offered his life for us. Today, let us pray for the courage to heed God’s call to also walk in the footsteps of Jerusalem Jesus who, through us, miraculously transforms pressing social/structural sins into justice and grace. 

For Reflection: 

  •  During this Lenten season, how are you called to “holy listening?” 
  • How might you better walk in the footsteps of Jerusalem Jesus?
4 replies
  1. Terry Griep
    Terry Griep says:

    Yesterday I had lunch with friends at an outdoor cafe in south Florida. A nearby shop had women modeling clothes at the cafe. A model informed us than an average size alligator purse cost $12,000. While not questioning or judging a person who would carry such a purse, I do feel that I must challenge a world where such luxury items exist side by side with homeless people living on the streets and under bridges. I struggle with how to do this gently so as to create societal change rather than defensiveness.

  2. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    During our prayer group last evening, all of us brought up the importance of listening. What does the Holy Spirit tell us? The importance of being still and listening to his counsel is not easy. We need patience and fortitude and perseverance; we need to know that the listening is difficult and takes time. We want people to change. We pray, we listen, and we listen more. The Holy Spirit in His time will answer our plea in the best way possible. We need to listen and to hold each of the people up to the Spirit so they may experience the light and we may thank Him for the goodness of listening to our plea and of all of us taking the time to listen to His answer. Many of the saints prayed for long periods of time and listened for long periods of time to have their prayer answered. Listening is an important way to get the Holy Spirit’s attention and answers.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    How important listening is in our daily lives. As I go for a walk each day, I find how just saying, “Good morning with a smile, opens up the person to a conversation.” To perhaps share the pain, one wouldn’t share with loved ones. To treat the police with honour and respect as they pay respects for a colleague that has passed, a not infrequent occurrence in these times as they man the front lines. I can rejoice as more and more people have the courage to stand up to our government and open up their business without restrictions. It takes courage to stand against the tide. Exhibiting courage in public gives others the courage to do the same.

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Jerusalem Jesus, Holy Listening, and Galilee Jesus. Thanks Tom for this food for reflection and action.


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