When we hear today’s gospel reading, there is real determination in Jesus “as he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” Did he know exactly how everything was going to unfold? Probably not, but he knew he had to go to Jerusalem. He knew that place was important in his journey to the Father.
Along the way, people at times welcome him. At other times, they reject him. But that was not his concern. All of us are free to accept him or not. The invitation is always there, but it is for us to decide whether to follow him or not.
The key message seems to be that this life of ours is but a journey. And all journeys lead somewhere. “If you don’t where you are going, then any road will do” is a paraphrase of the conversation Alice and the Cheshire Cat have in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Jesus definitely knows where he was going, and he knew the road he needed to take.
We know our own journeys often take us down dead ends and dark alleys. We know we get distracted by whether we are welcomed or accepted by others. We even wonder whether where Jesus is leading us is really where we want to go.
But every so often Jesus will turn around and look at us. He will nod and gently hold out his hand to us. And in that moment we will know that we are on the right path, that any detours we might have made are unimportant. He knows where he is going and we can trust that is where we really want to be, as well.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and is the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.