Jesus seems somewhat frustrated with his disciples today (MK 8: 14-21). Having just come back from an intense four-day retreat/workshop where the presentations were challenging, I can understand. Sometimes when Jesus speaks he is using language from a different level of consciousness and his friends are just not tuned in to what he means. This is one of those times and he seems uncharacteristically frustrated – so much so that he asks, “Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And again when he has reminded them of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves he says, “Do you still not understand?”
It must have been difficult for Jesus as well as for the apostles. It’s a good thing they had the psalms to fall back on (as we do!). And Jesus would have needed to remember lines like those of Psalm 94 this morning when he got frustrated – words like the following:
The God who knows our every thought, how fragile we each are; will not that God in evil days speak words of rest, and instruct our hearts to understand…? (vs. 11-13a)
Take courage when you lack deep understanding of God’s workings in your life or when you feel as if you are missing the point of life in God. Hold on to trust and the overwhelming compassion of the Jesus who was fully human – just like us – and willing to forgive in our moments of confusion.