Commentary on the Gospel of
Ruled by fear Jeroboam upsets the existing structures that connected the people to the Lord. He stopped them from going to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem, the city of the living God. Instead he erected altars in Bethel and Dan, consecrated non-Levites as priests, all at bid to secure the kingship that he did not work for, a kingship that was gratuitously entrusted to him. Governed by fear of losing the throne, he successfully led people to idolatry! We are invited to be attentive to what we do we live in fear, worse still, if in possession of certain amount of power. We should place our object of fear on the table and address it, rather than act out in protection and defense of the same object that frightens us. Fear should be confronted with the slogan: let’s talk it over. It is in exploring the ‘clouds’ surrounding the object that the fear itself is exposed and disarmed.
Full of compassion, our Lord Jesus Christ feeds a multitude of four thousand people with seven loaves and a few fish. ‘If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way’ – he reasoned. He ‘feared’ they would collapse on the way. Instead of quarreling with the object of his fear ‘hunger’, He pro-actively improvises; half bread is better than none! It was not the amount of food they had that bordered Him, instead that people may not die prematurely. At the end they were satisfied – and that is what mattered! In as much as love casts out fear, fear equally casts out love! Each of us needs a continuous transition from the Jeroboam in oneself, from the fear of what is to happen, to an embrace of the Jesus’ compassion. It is indeed a journey of gradually letting go of oneself so that others may live! God bless you as you reach out to others undeterred by fear insufficiency.