Archive for August 13th, 2016

Matthew 12: A Gentle Mastery

Saturday August 13, 2016gentleness_380_253_90

We see how Jesus heals; and we see how his comforting words and restorative gestures threaten the authorities who question how and why he is able to perform miracles. We hear the request for a sign; and we hear own words challenging Jesus’ goodness. We know that Jesus shows us The Way; yet we are not certain that we are up to his invitation. We are led and protected by our loving Creator; yet we hesitate to follow closely. We are imbued with God’s Spirit; yet we worry and defy God’s wisdom. Today’s Favorite is adapted from a reflection written on August 4, 2009.

At the close of Matthew 11 Jesus urges to give our burdens to him – for he is strong and we are weak, he is meek and humble, willing to carry not only our burdens but our beings.  This is how much we are loved.

Chapter 12 is one in which Jesus heals, preaches, confronts evil, explains how we might become vineyard workers with him, and describes his true brothers and sisters . . . us.  We see his gentle mastery of both deceit and goodness.  We are given a manual or road map to follow when we have questions or when we have lost our way.  Jesus does not deluge us with all the information we will ever need to live good and full and happy lives; rather, he gives us just enough information . . . just enough insight to get us to the next place in our journey.  He even asks that those who are healed not yet make public his identity . . . for it is not yet time for the entire plan to be revealed.

glassofwater-fullI heard a good homily this past week-end about Jesus’ gentle masteryMonsignor was expanding the idea that we best receive God’s messages when we are empty of self and most vulnerable.  He explained that we are like an empty cup or glass that God’s hand is moving toward a life-giving faucet to be filled with water that sustains us for eternity.  He asked us to search the Gospel to examine Jesus’ methodology, and then he pointed out that Jesus does not overwhelm his followers with so much information that there is a system overload.  Rather than turn on the water source full force which would splash the water out of the empty glass, Jesus turns the tap lightly – just enough to let the refreshing, healing water flow gently.  As I listened, I pictured myself putting an empty vessel under a full-flowing spigot . . . and I saw the water gushing everywhere . . . and never filling the glass.  I also pictured myself putting the same empty vessel under a gentle flow . . . and I saw the glass fill almost immediately.  There is more than enough when we take things as we can handle them.  Just so does God interact with us.

water into glassChapter 12 of Matthew gives us an opportunity to read this part of Jesus’ story with new eyes . . . the eyes of one who arrives empty, seeking to be gently filled.  And when we have had a full and good drink, we might turn to help those who follow behind.  We too, might . . . with patience and with care . . . become gentle masters who turn the tap softly for those who are empty and weak.

For an interesting reflection on Jesus and gentleness, click on the image of the bird in hands above, or visit: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/are-you-gentle-like-jesus 

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