The episode opens with Matthew’s desire to know the word of God. He enquires of Philip from where can he begin the Torah. A beautiful exchange of dialogue with Philip reveals to us that to know God, we must believe that he is present here, now and in our hearts. We on the other hand tend to act that God is far away and that keeps us from wanting to do more, be more and makes us feel less about ourselves.
There are 2 things that this episode brings to highlight i.e Conflict and Faithfulness. Conflicts with people in our lives, conflicts with ourselves, and conflicts about the society we live in. All of these are addressed remarkably in this episode and we see James (son of Alphaeus) had a physical problem a type of paralysis and even though he has been watching Jesus heal so many, he has not asked Jesus to heal him. He thinks low of himself, could be because of his past actions or he may think he’s not worthy of being healed. How often are we in in James’ shoes, after having gone down a sinful path, even though we no longer live a sinful life, we think we don’t have access to God, to God’s grace and mercy anymore. The fact is Jesus is there right besides us even when we are in sin, awaiting to stretch out our hand to him for help.
Further into the episode we get to witness harmony among the disciples of Jesus, when they begin to open up and share each other’s vulnerabilities. That’s when the real connection begins and you notice that the disciples are much more receptive of each others feelings. Our brokenness brings us closer i.e when the presence of Jesus in our hearts connects with the presence of Jesus in the hearts of the peoples we meet or come across who also face suffering in their lives.
Mary while she narrated a brief story of the nativity, the series makes us wonder more. How would it really have been like to hold the son of God in her arms, a young woman holding on to her faith in God, having moments of doubt yet staying faithful consistently.
The disciples also express their feelings of how each one presumed the Messiah would be based on scriptures in the Torah. They expected a King who would fight with swords and kill Romans. But in stark contrast to their ideas, they met the Messiah as a humble worker, a healer, a counsellor and a rabbi.
The disciples (including Mary & Rehma) share their growing up experiences in the Jewish culture. Their experiences are similar, but differ in some ways. They express their daily struggles to practice their faith. We too tend to struggle with our faith, struggle with being consistent in our communication with God. When we take our issues to Jesus, issues that cause us worry – both great and small – Jesus does not look at them as unworthy of His attention, He is interested in them because of the opportunity they present to us, since they are the graces presented to us to right ourselves.
The episode concludes with almost the whole group being against Matthew for trying to learn more about Judaism, about their struggles to keep the faith strong daily, until they notice Jesus has returned to camp exhausted. He needed his Eema (mother) to help him clean up before going to bed. But, exhausted as he was, he recites the ‘Bedtime Shema’. The silence and shameful look on the disciples faces brings a shift in their hearts. We cannot comprehend what Jesus went through when he was physically among us. The last scene can take you to a place that you probably haven’t been in a while.
- Matthew 4:24
- Psalm 139: 1-2 8-10
- Mathew 16: 25-27
- Luke2: 6-11
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO REFLECT
- What would you give up to be independent financially (no money problems)? Do you think that not having money problems would make you happy?
- Jesus had been healing the Samaritans all day, why do you think the disciples were not shown helping ?
Do leave your thoughts and comments below.