Our Lady and Sheen

A wonderful coincidence

By happenstance (or maybe this happens every year), the Gospel reading from this past Sunday and Monday had the same quote of Our Lord in it: (from Monday’s Gospel of Matthew 8:20)

Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

This passage always is very moving to me, it is hard to decide why, because the answer to me is puzzling.  The scribe (in Matthew) and the man (in Luke) who asks to follow Jesus wherever he goes may be thinking of worldly power, and believes that following Jesus will bring him into affluence, prestige, or wealth, which may be why the Lord tells us that He has nowhere to rest his head.  As He tells the other man to let the dead bury the dead, it seems to be a way of forcing an examination of conscience on to the potential disciples of the Lord.  “Do you really wish this job, or will you only follow me for your own benefit, or will you only follow me half-halfheartedly?”

Jesus is perhaps calling each of us to follow him to the Gates of Hell to save even one soul from eternal damnation.  To follow Him into death and resurrection for the life of the world to come. It is a challenge to those who want to follow him to say there will be challenges, and I will walk arm and arm with you into those challenges, for even I do not have a place to rest my head here, and you will not either.

Perhaps, it is as simple as saying that Jesus is not meant for this world, since there is nowhere to rest his head like the other natural things of the earth.  But if this were the case, why would Jesus care about the salvation of the world if he did not belong in the purified version of it, because after all, creation was good.  Jesus was not coerced into taking on the flesh of slaves and spiritually destitute in order to raise it to a level above the angels, he did it out of pure love.

Archbishop Sheen in his book, Life of Christ, says that:

When finally the scrolls of history are completed down to the last words in time, the saddest line of all will be: “There was no room at the inn.”

Archbishop Sheen points out quite clearly that the Inn represents the gathering of the public square, and there was no room in that public area for the Christ.  Even as Jesus is gaining popularity in the Matthew and Luke passages, He still understands that He is not accepted for his true purpose.  He is either accepted as a wise prophet or a man who is to be a warrior king, but even in his birth and travels, he does not even have a true place to lay his head.  Even upon his death he must be lent a second cave in which he is laid while he goes into the depths of Hell to rescue our first parents.

Archbishop sheen’s call for us to open our hearts to Jesus, and to give him room not only in the Inn, but in the privacy of our own homes, is something we must all reflect on when we read the above passage that the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head.

As Fulton Sheen would always end his program, I repeat to you, “God Love You!”

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July 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Very interesting!

    Comment by Christine Pennacchio | July 3, 2010 | Reply


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