Today's readings [display_podcast]
For any movement to succeed, it must take on a life beyond that of its present proponents. It has to have a past and a future that are directed by a momentum beyond their own devices. One might say, there must be a movement of the Holy Spirit in order for a movement to succeed. Which is what Gamaliel was trying to tell the Sanhedrin. If this Christianity thing was just a flash in the pan, then why get upset about it? But if it was a bona fide movement of the Holy Spirit, then getting upset about it wasn’t going to do any good anyway. Which is, of course, what happened. God’s will is done regardless of what human beings think of it.
We see that movement developing in today’s Gospel reading. But it was too soon, and it was a movement not based on the Holy Spirit. The people were beginning to clamor for Jesus the miracle worker, the one who would feed thousands with just a few loaves and fish, the one who would heal their sick and cast out their demons. And Jesus came to do those things, but not just those things, not even primarily those things. Jesus did not want to lead a movement that missed the point, that missed the grace.
As is often the case, the Psalmist is the one who helps us to see the point and see the grace. The one thing the Psalmist seeks today is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. That’s the point of the movement that Jesus intended, that’s the point of the movement the Apostles were part of and the Israelites couldn’t stop. The whole point of our faith is to lead us to the house of the Lord both now and in eternity. That is the one thing we gather together to seek this holy day.