Today is Friday the 18th of July, in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time.

The University of Johannesburg choir sing Ukuthula; Peace in this world of sin the blood of Jesus brings. Redemption in this world of sin the blood of Jesus brings.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

This is a vivid scene: drama, confrontation, conflict.  How do you imagine it?  Can you imagine it now?  Spend a few moments just picturing it: what these people look like and sound like, their attitude, their tone of voice, the looks on their faces.

How do you imagine the Pharisees?  What do they look like?  What’s their attitude?  Do you see them as self-righteous, pompous perhaps, nitpicking, nasty?  Or are they just scrupulous, conscientious, earnest?

And, as you listen again, this time concentrate on Jesus, his bearing, his tone of voice.  How does he seem to you?

“Something greater than the temple is here”, “the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath”: – this is a statement, as much as anything else, about who Jesus is, about his own importance.  How do you react to this “assertive” Jesus, this straight-talking Jesus who isn’t afraid of confrontation?  What do you want to say to him now?