Daily Reflection
July 2nd, 2007

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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The scribe at the beginning of today's gospel reading says "Teacher, wherever you go I will come after you." Jesus responds rather curiously by saying that He has no fixed abode...

At that time the Temple stood, massive and confidence-inspiring, fixed in the center of Jerusalem, and the life of the Jewish community centered around it: after all, that was where Jahweh chose to let his glory ("shekinah") abide. But Jesus promises the scribe no such physical, solid, and visible home. He does not even offer a "teaching" that could be as carefully spelled out in minute detail as the Law had to offer, the refuge of an absolute and literal answer to every question in the smallest detail. That would be a metaphorical Temple, another place where the faithful might believe themselves certain to encounter God.

Jesus' words suggest, without absolutely pointing at it, that Jesus is driven by the Spirit of God and must go where It leads. We could consider Jesus to be inviting the scribe to join Him in following the Spirit, and we could hear those words as addressed to us, with even more import. Taking all that Jesus said and did, we understand and choose to follow Him. Our baptism, our confirmation, our prayer all point in that direction --- or they should.

But do we actually accept to go wherever that is, always moving on to the other towns, ever ready to be truly present to unaccustomed individuals and situations, always seeking for a deeper understanding and love as the Spirit brings us to life and spiritual maturity? Are we generous enough, do we trust God enough, to set off on that lifelong pilgrimage to the Heavenly City with Jesus as our Teacher and the Holy Spirit as our guide?

Do we leave behind our fixation on the dependable Temple (not even on the God within), in our trust in the solid, clear, and fixed Law, in order to follow the constantly advancing Jesus and the untrammeled Spirit? Can we set off, trying always to humbly choose our divine Shepherd rather than any merely human support, ideas, guidance, or person?

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