Wednesday 11 March 2020

Second Week of Lent

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 20:17-28

Process

The twelve disciples do not even wait for Jesus's death before beginning to quarrel about the master's political and spiritual heritage. And if the vanity and ambition of those twelve men were not enough, their mothers and relatives create division and turmoil with their greed. Greed and competition, thirst for power and human glory will never abandon the group of the twelve disciples even in future apostolic descendents. From its very first days of life serious ideological divisions, theological separations, grim moral contrasts, deep-rooted political rifts have marked and accompanied the Church's journey. Jesus knows exactly how the human heart and mind work and how they are connected not only by tissues and nerves but also by the spirit and an inner dialogue. Jesus knows that we never see things as they really are but depending on the way we are. We do not see, perceive, understand or think of reality as it really is, but in relation to how we are and how we are inside ourselves, depending on our mental and emotional state.
Despite being aware of this mental process by which man is completely disconnected from reality, Jesus consigns the Church to these men and women who, because of their inner world, have a terrible craving for prestige, image worship, success, acclaim, laziness, power and wealth.
 Jesus asked his disciples nonetheless to start the adventure of the Church. Why?
Because Jesus wanted in the course of this process, during this millenary individual and community adventure of the Church, under the light and power of the Holy Spirit, to give the ambitious and vain children of God the opportunity to slowly but surely change within, to heal within in order to become true servants of His people with all their hearts. If Jesus had wanted to entrust His Church to men and women who were efficient, mature, morally upright, healed from every psychological and emotional wound, untied from any ambition, vanity, or jealousy, He would  have entrusted His Church to the angels, not to us. If babies are to be born only to perfectly qualified parents, who would ever have a baby? If two lovers who want to commit themselves to one another do so only when everything, including themselves, are perfect, who and when would anyone make that commitment? If all the puppies and cubs were to be born only when they were ready to face all of life's dangers and only if environmental conditions were perfect, who could be born?
Jesus did not entrust His Church to perfect children, instead He relied on an imperfect Church, with an imperfect history, to
slowly make His children perfect, to lead them to the arms of the Holy Paraclete towards love without ambition, towards compassion without vanity, towards true service without craving for success. Jesus' way does not justify or excuse the evil caused by  human ambition, but it eases the evil within a process of liberation and salvation for everyone. All is not clear to us, but Jesus is very clear that we never see things as they are, but we see them depending on how we are.  The whole evolutionary process is then to succeed in changing how we are following the procedures of the Gospel and in the light of the Holy Spirit. This is a slow process, at times very slow, but it is unrelenting, and it is the very meaning of life. Indeed this wonderful process of changing ourselves, offered to all by God's sweet mercy, can be delayed by human sins, by human ambition and vanity, but it is interrupted abruptly and brought to a standstill by judgements and condemnations that people make against their brothers as they travel along this path of salvation instead of celebrating God's mercy.