Jesus states to the assembly in no uncertain terms that he will work to liberate those who are oppressed.  Listeners would have understood the cause of the oppression to be the symptom of empire-building and adherence to religious laws, so they were undoubtedly defensive and most certainly threatened by Jesus’ proclamation.

Being fully human, Jesus must have been terribly afraid as a result of the mob’s threats against him.  “But he passed through the midst of them and went away.”  Perhaps he was able to summon this courage only by drawing on his deep connection to the Father.  In that relationship he found a reserve of peace and strength which sustained him during his many prophetic ordeals.

Likewise, we can draw on the same unlimited reservoir of peace and strength by allowing ourselves to enter into meaningful relationship with God, to be in touch with God’s mission for us.

—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.