“What can you do?” The crowd challenges Jesus in today’s Gospel. What good are you? How will you help us?

What do you have to offer? What makes you so special? What sets you apart? If even the Son of God was challenged this way, how much ought these kind of challenges affect us today? Can you see in today’s Gospel a Jesus that has felt some of the same challenges you face? Jesus has heard it before, sure, but can you believe that he is feeling it again, when you feel it?

Does today’s Gospel help you see that Christ walks with you? He weeps with you, gets upset when you get upset, laughs uncontrollably when you laugh with joy? What good is a Jesus who does not walk with you? What would have been the point of his life on earth? Can you feel Jesus presence?

—Patrick Hyland, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province, is studying philosophy at St. Louis University. He lives at the Bellarmine House of Studies.