+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 6
My sister insisted that I was overreacting and wanted to know why we should leave in the middle of the night and so suddenly. And I could not explain to her that I have been “consorting with a traitor and heretic” or even with “those fanatics out in the desert” to use her words, though surely those men and their questions asked her have put all sorts of ideas into her head. I know at the first opportunity she will say “I told you so” and I will never hear the end of it. But she is right, I was overreacting. I sent her on ahead on a pretext of arranging some matters on some property I have recently acquired in Galilee. She’s got a mind for business as good as my own, and, truthfully, she can make better deals than I can, so it’s not unusual for her to go do just this sort of thing. And I gave one of my servants a message for the rabbi’s mother. I may or may not be in imminent danger, but there is no question that the rabbi’s closest circle is. They have made powerful enemies in the Council and I shouldn’t even do this much, but for some reason I can’t bear the thought of anyone harming that dear woman.
As for me, I stopped some distance outside the gate and saw her off, then returned to our home. I’ll be staying behind for at least a couple of days to find out what is happening in the Sanhedrin and what they intend to do about the rabbi now that so many in the city are outwardly proclaiming him to be the one who will restore the kingdom of David—oh, yes, that is what they have been saying. I can hardly believe it. How can they be so foolish? But they do not even stop there, no, they claim, some of the most unwise, they claim that he is the Son of Adonai. As if Adonai had a son! And he does not deny these claims but encourages them! How can Nico and Joseph defend him from that? How can they expect me to? I follow the Law, I am not a heretic nor a blasphemer. I can’t afford to get mixed up in this. I almost let my old childhood memories get the best of me and almost did something foolish. Thanks be to the Lord I have had time to think rationally. No rash action is not what is needed but calm observation and preparation.
What I’ve heard—the reports must be wrong. If not, if this is truly what has happened, I will vote against him myself. And I will try to talk some sense into Nico and Joseph. Surely they can’t really be thinking of throwing in with those who want to turn everything upside down. My sister, Rachel, would never forgive me if I don’t stand up to these men who have no claim on my loyalty, while throwing away everything our father—both of our parents—built and left to us. I don’t want to lose everything. I owe it to my parents and to Rachel to keep our property and wealth safe. And how can I practice tzedekah if I have nothing to give? What kind of Pharisee would I be then, eh?
I have received a message from another Pharisee. This man I know somewhat. We have mutual friends and we have shared meals before. And I’ve heard him speak. He’s a studious one, even among students of the Law. And a stickler for rules and quotes prophecy like no one else I know. He is no fan of the rabbi or his followers. He wants to talk to me tonight. I’ll meet him somewhere so he won’t have to come here and maybe I won’t have to answer questions about where my sister’s whereabouts. I shouldn’t have to answer any of his questions. Who does he think he is? Always bragging about his Roman citizenship. As if that were a mark of honor. He’s nothing but a tentmaker’s son and if he starts in on me, I won’t hesitate to remind him. I also won’t hesitate to remind him that I’ve kept the Commandments my whole life, too, even if I am younger than he is. I don’t need him to tell me what my duty is, to God or to the Temple or anything else.
The message said he wants to ask me what I know about some outlandish stories going around about miraculous healing and what-not. Why ask me? I never saw anything like that. Nothing like that happened when I used to visit his family with my father, and nothing like that happened when we spoke recently. I asked him some questions, he answered in that cryptic way of his, and that was that. I don’t see what help I can possibly be.
I’d leave tonight and go back to see my friend in the desert if I hadn’t agreed to meet the tentmaker. That’s how I think of him now. The nerve. But I need to know what he wants to know, and what the Council knows, and who knows what any of this means?
I wish I’d never asked him anything and hadn’t gone out of my way to track him down, either. I hope I don’t run into him anymore before I can join my sister in Galilee. If my servant gets word to the rabbi’s mother, then maybe she can get word to her son and they will all be safe. More than that I cannot do. I cannot afford to get involved.
Now, it’s time to meet the maker of tents. I wonder if they’re any good. His tents, I mean. Hmph, he’ll probably tell me all about it. I can hardly wait. Sigh.
End Part 6
Now that this is going on past the May Book of the Month, ongoing story links will be on the Fiction page.
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+
Image in the banner: From the east, Nazareth, Holy Land, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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