Daily Readings Reflection for 8/16/11

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Scripture: Lectionary # 420. Judges 6:11-24. Psalm 85:9.11-12.13_14.
Matthew 19: 23-30

Tuesday’s Readings

Any form of detachment is not easy for us even those times it is asked of
us as disciples of Jesus. The disciples are not different from us since
they too find the lessons on detachment from earthly possessions, from
family, and from one’s own needs very hard to accept even from their master
Jesus. We hear them loudly and clearly say, “Then, Lord, who can be
saved?” Jesus, of course, continues with his point and elevates the
conversation to the level of God. With human effort this detachment is
impossible but with God nothing is impossible. Perhaps, only Mary, the
Mother of Jesus understood this the first time it was put to her and then
lived it out the rest of her life as one of the faithful, in fact, the most
faithful of his disciples. After all, she lived with him for the longest
time of anyone here on earth!

Peter, one of the favorite disciples to be the initiator of dialogue with
Jesus pipes up and says what will he and his friends, the other twelve
profit from this detachment. After all, they have somewhat left all things
and followed him. But they are only beginners so Jesus must continue to
give them more information. By listening to this lesson on how to “let go”
they make some progress. Jesus then puts all of this into the bigger
picture and gives them the context of the entire will and plan of God.
They will eventually be with him in glory and judge the twelve tribes of
Israel.

For us this is an eschatological perspective seen and realized in the
future, but the only way that we come to understand Jesus is to make that
realized now or to live out “realized eschatology” since the kingdom of God
is already here with Jesus in their midst and indeed is within them. This
holds true for us when we embrace the will of God in our particular
existential situations day in and day out. Still we struggle with letting
go of our particular insights, our way of doing things, and our own
possessions and relationships. We need to see Jesus not only as one who
consoles us but one who calls us to be “other Christs” and to enter into
the mysteries of his life, death, and resurrection. That is what the
liturgy tells us each time we participate in it actively. This will be the
only satsifying way of capturing what it means to let go and to let God do
what God wills within us.

The crucified God of compassion teaches us the power of love seen in the
humanity of Jesus and enables us to glimpse into his divinity through the
Paschal Mysteries. Only by entering into these mysteries do we learn how
to understand the difficult sayings of Jesus. This is the cost of our
discipleship. Johannes Metz, a great Catholic theologian, puts his finger
on the meaning of today’s passage when he tells us, “Whoever hears the
message of the resurrection of Christ in such a way that the cry of the
crucified has become inaudible in it, hears not the Gospel but rather a
myth.” Amen.

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