Upsetting the Human
Criteria of Judgment
Twenty-Second Week of Year II
Monday, August 29, 2016
(Begin readings from Luke’s Gospel).
The Responsorial (Psalm 119) is a response of love to love: “Lord, I love your commands.”
In 1Corinthians 2:1-5 Paul’s humility is the foundation for our trust in his preaching:
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom... but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Absolute truth and goodness are found only in God. When someone asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus was hinting at his own divinity when he answered, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Later he was more explicit: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our faith is not founded on anything human, but on the absolute Truth and Goodness of Jesus as God himself.
For you alone are the Holy One,
You alone are the Lord,
You alone are the Most High,
Because of this we accept God’s teaching as a precious gift and all his commands as priceless benefits entrusted to us, to use and manage as “stewards of his kingship” for our good and the good of others. The attitude and appreciation we foster in ourselves and encourage in others is: “Lord, I love your commands.”
But in Luke 4:16-30 The people of Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, did not love the great news he gave them or even accept it as good news. When he read to them the promise of “good news to the poor… liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and release to prisoners…” and added: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing,” they were ready to kill him. Why?
Two reasons. First: resistance to change; specifically, to the idea that the “hometown boy” who grew up in ordinariness among them could be the Messiah. Second: a false presumption about their status as the Chosen People. They were enraged when, in response to their demand for miracles, Jesus pointed out two occasions when God worked miracles for Gentiles, not for Jews.
We who are charged and committed by our baptismal consecration as “kings” to work at “transforming humanity from within…. upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, humans’ criteria of judgment, determining values… sources of inspiration and models of life,” may experience the same deep resistance. People are not always ready to accept a “change of mind” (metanoia). We need to be prepared for the same rejection Jesus encountered.
Initiative: Be a steward of his kingship. Keep trying to bring about change.