"Put down your sword" Jesus said. He was addressing Peter when the guards came for them in the Garden of Gethsemane. Why did he say them? Let's back up and see what experience he had of letting go of his own "sword."
Were Jesus a writer, some think, wouldn’t we have avoided the whole mess, what with subdivisions of the Jews and later schisms among Christians…I wonder, really? Jesus came to divide sons from their mothers and daughters from their fathers. Had he been a writer I fear he might not have been so quickly truncated, that rather than live his dreams into action, his writings might have allowed him catharsis, or worse, a virtual self or protagonist of fiction through whom he could project his utopia of eudaimonia (happiness) and the beatific call to metanoia (conversion).
Instead he left behind his craft to live a peregrination into the unknown. Behind him in his father’s workshop lay the rudiments of carpentry. Had he lived today, a wordsmith, it would be like him laying down his laptop computer in a coffee shop or offering it up for a free market gift economy. He let go of the power of his tools…do you know how hard that is!
We speak of Jesus sometimes forgetting that his agony in the garden was not a hardship of a single night. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane not for the first time amidst erstwhile companions. That is, with tears, suffering with the knowing of imperiled souls and defiled society, suffering into convergence with the cry of the disenfranchised. It was a knowing that could not be unknown. To have known himself the Son of the living God, this, and his journey to accept this, a knowledge and a fidelity to that knowledge led him in agony.
Compare every Gospel and discover there the human Jesus described through the faith that He, the Son of God, so loved the world that he took the form of a slave. What hardship of a single night compares to his awakened sense of self? For in bearing to the world his divine nature…required him to leave behind all the tools of his human nature, one by one.
For your reflection:
What were these tools and how did he leave them behind.
In living out the call of your baptism, what tools have you left behind?
How have you born the agony?