by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
As we begin our reflection on this week’s scriptures, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that last week, Jesus, after performing an extraordinary miracle — healing a person who was deaf and mute, and causing terrific amazement — told the person who was cured and the disciples, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” This has come to be known as Jesus’ attempt to keep the Messianic secret, that he was the Messiah.
You hear him say that again to Peter and the disciples after Peter is saying, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus says, “Keep it a secret.” Last week, it was because he did not just want to be known as a wonder-worker, someone who just healed individual people. His task was to proclaim the good news, the Reign of God. Remember at the very beginning of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is described by Mark as proclaiming, “The Reign of God is at hand. Change your lives.”
He had a mission, and he did not want that mission to be upset or counteracted by individual acts of wonders, miracles and healings of individuals, or even saving individuals. His goal was to proclaim the Reign of God. You may remember the first lesson last Sunday from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 35. It was a beautiful description of what the Reign of God is really to be…