Solitary life turns out not to be so solitary after all. Here we catch a glimpse into the constant stream of visitors travelling by small boats across the waters to land on Cuthbert’s shore. Folk suffering from distress, despondency, depression, despair, illness. And he has time for them all. Each one listened to, each one treated with careful attention, and each leaving with a unique word or touch, and a healed spirit, soul, or body. We are beyond politics here. This is the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is, once again, calling out the hypocrisy of those who, in positions of leadership, should be guiding by example and with compassion. Instead, there is arrogance and pride. If we place ourselves as the Pharisees in these stories they become, once again, terrifying. They are the astringent food of the Lenten desert.