+JMJ+ A note on the writing. I’m writing a book And working my way into the writing, which is what this experiment is, a journey into the writing. So the journey in the title refers both to the journey in the story itself and to my writing my way toward the story. Come along with me. Let’s see what happens together.
A Journey – Part 5
We arrived back in the city in the early evening, hot and tired from riding without stopping, and all I wanted was to have a long bath and a hot meal, but it was not to be. My head was still reeling from what they told me on the road to Jerusalem, how they had spoken up so many times to try and dissuade the Council from punishing the rabbi. Oh, why drag me into this? I have nothing against the man, but this could not have happened at a worse time. I’m not ready, I need to think, to plan. Lord, why? I went to the community for the same reason I visited the rabbi, because I was seeking You, to serve You, to know Your will. Now look at what has happened!
A messenger, one of Joseph’s, met us at the gate and told us we had been summoned to the Great Council. They were meeting to decide how to handle “this blaspheming rabble-rousing upstart,” and that is only a small sample of what they called him. And not just him, but any who had dared to support him in his blasphemy. If I know my new friends, they will speak up and bring doom on all our heads—I can’t let that happen.
We split up to go to our homes before meeting again to ride together to the Sanhedrin. At least, that was the plan. But when I entered my house, Rachel, my sister, was pacing, pacing, worried about me. Men had been there, she said, sent by Caiaphas, wanting to know where I was, what I was doing, when I would return—and had Nicodemus, or Joseph of Arimathea, or the rabbi Jesus been at our house lately. They didn’t ask her anything else, but they were not friendly and their questions (especially that last one, even though she could answer honestly that no, they had not been there recently and had not ever been) made her uneasy.
I was going to make it worse because I told her to pack a few things and come with me now, and all I could do was apologize without explaining. There wasn’t time. I had to prepare to leave, too. Oh, I could feel it in my bones: the good Teacher had roused their ire, and my friends had tried so many times to protect him, and the good Council men were going to teach him a lesson that he would not forget. That Jerusalem would not forget. And all I wanted to do was get as far away from Jerusalem as I could get. I didn’t know what they were going to do, but I knew that I wanted no part in whatever it was.
Nico and Joseph would be expecting me and I’m sorry to have to disappoint them but I have to protect my family and my property. They’ll understand. And whether or not they do, I have to get out of here, have to get Rachel out of here, now.
I am not just thinking about my wealth. It may seem that way, but I am worried about my sister more than my money. If anything happens to our money and property, we will end up in the street. Or worse. And Rachel, even if she is my sister, I have to admit that she is beautiful. I shudder to think what would become of her if I were no longer able to protect her. No, I have to protect us and our property. If he is ever to make a good marriage, I have to provide her dowry. And I do not relish the idea of living as a servant to some Pharisee lording it over me, or to a Gentile either. I have friends among them now, but if I lose my prestige and position? What help would I be to them then? What need would they have of me? They would throw me into the nearest ditch.
Alright, I am thinking of my wealth and what if I am? What did the rabbi say, to get rid of it all, to store up treasure in heaven, and to come back and follow him? If I had done that I’d really be in trouble. Those men might have waited for me to drag me out of the house and take me who knows where? I wouldn’t be safe if I ran to the farthest reaches of Judea.
It only occurred to me at that moment that I needed to get Rachel, and as much of our wealth as possible, not just out of Jerusalem but all the way out of Judea, as far away as possible and as quickly. I called my most trusted servants to me and set them to packing for us. I wouldn’t be meeting with the Sanhedrin that night and I didn’t want to be at home if they came searching for me.
I hoped they’d go easy on them—Nicodemus, Joseph, the rabbi, the rabbi’s mother. The thought of her stopped me in my tracks. But surely they wouldn’t bother his mother. Would they? At this thought I stumbled and my stomach lurched and I dropped all the bags I was carrying. Surely they would not harm his mother! Maybe I could get word to her. Yes, I would send one of my most trusted men to her, to warn her, to warn as many of their circle as possible. I don’t know what else I can do. I scrambled to gather up the bags again. If I didn’t get out of there, I wouldn’t be able to help anyone.
That was what I told myself as I ran, that I was escaping so I would be free to help others. But the truth was, I just ran.
End Part 5
Now that this is going on past the May Book of the Month, ongoing story links will be on the Fiction page.
Catholic Book of the Month TOC, Annotated
All Series TOC, Annotated
Thank you for visiting and reading my continuing experiment. I hope you’ll join me again wherever we’re going—and I have no idea where that is. Well, I have some idea but mostly I’m discovering the story as I go. It’ll all be rewritten (at least a few times?) before I turn it into (my masterpiece?) a book. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and most of all, let the Spirit work in you so that you become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+
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