Reflection for Tuesday, May 9, 2006: 4th week in Easter.

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Purcell, Tom
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A draft of an imaginary letter that might have been found around the year 30 in Jerusalem (if in fact it had been written):| Dear Rabbi ­|I have heard you are a man of great learning, well-versed in the Torah and wise beyond telling. My name is Thomas. I am part of a group of like-minded people who follow and listen to Jesus of Nazareth. We have seen him perform wondrous things ­ healing the sick, curing long-time afflictions, changing water to wine, even raising the dead ­ all in the name of God. We believe him to be a great man, one who is clearly blessed by and sent from God. But many of us still are not sure who this Jesus is exactly. Is He the Messiah?| A great prophet? Some say He is divine, but that seems so blasphemous as to be beyond belief.| Today in the temple, some of the priests pressed Jesus with this question. Practical men, they asked Jesus to simply say if He is in fact the Messiah. I have been with Him for a while, and I sometimes wonder the same thing. He doesn't always speak clearly, but teaches us in parables and examples, and doesn't always tell us what the lesson is. So we argue and try to put our thoughts together, but we still don't always agree. And many times, what He says He came to do doesn't sound a lot like what we think the Messiah is supposed to do. Many of us want the Romans out of our land and for a resurgence of Israel, but He doesn't even talk of raising armies or seizing political power.| His answer today was more direct than normal. He said he has told us in the past, and that His works testify to who He is. I don't recall Him saying specifically in the past that He is the Messiah (although He has said things that imply He is the Chosen One), but then not all of us are with Him at all times. I can testify that the people who come to hear Him and be touched by Him are in awe of His power to soothe their suffering, no matter what form it takes. His works truly do make a difference in the lives of so many of the people in our land, Jew and gentile alike. He is the best man I have ever known or heard of.| I understand what He means when He speaks of being a shepherd and that we are His sheep who follow Him. But I need to understand more what He means when He says "The Father and I are one." So I am still not sure who this Jesus is, but I know that I must keep following Him to learn more. Perhaps you can help me in my doubts - who do you think He is?| Sincerely,| Thomas (Didymus)
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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