How we encounter Jesus can determine a lot about how we encounter the world. Jesus worked hard during his earthly mission to shed the worldly trappings of the title "Christ," with all its implications of power and might. Rather, before turning towards Jerusalem (Mk 8-9), Jesus declared that he, the "Son of Man," would undergo rejection, persecution, and death. Peter reacted to this shocking revelation with rebuke, and he was rebuked in turn! Thus, Jesus revealed the path of the cross, and challenges his disciples to embrace that path with humility. One way this plays out is how we treat others, especially our fellow Christians, James points out in his Letter: giving the powerful and mighty preference, or treating all with the same welcome and love. One's operative conception of Jesus can heavily influence whether we follow James' teaching on Christian fellowship or not!
-Given at the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel (UST-St. Paul) on February 20, 2020.