4th Sunday Reflection: Authority that Reflects Humility
Franciscan Reflections From The Hermitage – Authority that reflects Humility – 4th Sunday Year B – Mark 1:21-28
A vengeful God created in our own image: People who are more vengeful tend to be those who are motivated by power, by authority and by the desire for status. They don’t want to lose face. Those personalities, tend to be less forgiving, less benevolent and less focused on ‘universal-connectedness-type’ values… anger often drives the vengeful feelings of people in individualistic cultures, while shame powers revenge in collectivist ones… when we do get revenge, we can no longer trivialise the situation. Instead, we think about it… A lot. Rather than providing closure, it does the opposite: It keeps the wound open and fresh. Social Justice Research (Vol. 138, No. 2 – 2008)
Is this how we experience God… trivialising our choices or… angry and vengeful? These are not attributes of God; these are conditions of human pathology, of sickness, and dis-ease.
When Jesus states that he is the TRUTH, he affirms that relationship through which we come to know not only who we are… but also the path that we are called to walk. Truth is the other side of the coin of Love, for Love cannot be based upon lies, deceit, illusions, or delusions. Jesus, the Christ, is the true Author of creation, that Word of God that speaks all that is into being… this is authority.
Jesus as the word of God is something alive and active, it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely; it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts.
But there is a complication. Even the best of teachers is nothing before those who have closed their minds and hearts to them. Even the Lord was powerless before the stubborn refusal of the Pharisees to open themselves to his teaching. How often have I not experienced this in our own lives… presumption and pre-occupation… the death knell of learning and understanding, and final Wisdom.
God respects our choices, that gift of free will that is at the foundation of our ability to Love. Here we find no trivialising of our choices… but neither do we find anger or vengeance… for these are conditions of our choices that seek to find Love in the wrong places. Without God, who is Love and the source of Love, as the foundation and measure of our search for meaning… our search for love
When we become conscious of the effects of our choices, witnessing the ongoing circle of violence and destruction through generations… that awareness itself becomes the source of our suffering. This is not God’s doing, for the God of Love and Truth could never delight such destruction.
The author of Life shows us the path we are to follow in humility. Let us look again at your choices… look again at our relationships. Let us seek the Light of God to shine on all that is based on lies, deceit, untruths, illusions, and delusions… look again and change your mind… this is the ongoing call to repentance, to change our minds and our hearts, and to choose a different way, the Way. Repent and believe in the Good News!
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