Monday 31 August 2020

Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

Without understanding

It is not just a matter of faith.
It is more a matter of understanding and understanding is awareness.
Jesus offers us new opportunities, He shows us new untravelled paths, endless possibilities. Beyond faith, understanding and recognizing the universality, beauty, perfection, the functionality, and the truth of Jesus' Word is a matter of intelligence.
Faith is a free choice, a choice of love, devotion, of full and inner adherence, and it is absolutely clear that believing in Jesus and putting His Word into practice is a free, personal, unconditonable choice. Believing that Jesus is the Son of God, who became incarnate in our midst, and is at the same time the true God, crucified, killed and resurrected is a question of love, of faith, of spiritual choice. But Jesus' Word, what Jesus told us and gave to us, elicits our intelligence more than our faith.
If we read the Gospel carefully - and we have sufficient intellectual capability to do so – it is impossible not to see the transparent truth, the absolute consistency, the universal and at the same time familiar light that it emanates. It is impossible to read the Gospel and not be enhanced in consciousness and therefore intelligence. If we do not improve our intelligence and awareness as we read the Gospel it means that we are reading the idea we have made for ourselves of the Gospel, not the Gospel itself.
Jesus' Word is an intellectual inspiration unknown to our philosophies, regardless of how deeply or assiduously they are studied. Jesus never gropes for solutions. Jesus speaks as someone who is beyond doubt because He knows, not because he has learned. Jesus never expresses opinions, of any kind, ever. He does not judge, He does not propose theories, He does not separate. Jesus is so logical that His enemies and opponents are unable to give a rebuttal and are compelled to recognize His unknown before intelligence and wisdom. In Jesus' Word there are no inconsistencies in principles, there are no laws traced to human tradition,  there are no preestablished behavioral constructs. The Word of the Gospel has a single, universal breath; it treats man with absolute respect in all of his dimensions, it is supreme nourishment for the whole of man and for all men.
Nothing is as universal as the Gospel. It is Word of pure value. It is fully coherent, from any point of view, and it is never fundamentalist. And it is very evident that it is not the result of human thinking structures. The Gospel does not look for advantages or links with human mental constructs, it does not lean on prepackaged conventional ideological pillars. It proposes, in a simple and familiar way, new, unknown, prospects and existential opportunities.
It has a very logical and empirical approach, it is founded on the true reality, not on a reality created in our minds. It has a rigorous, radical, approach, but it is never shaded by tones of fanaticism or fundamentalism. The Gospel faces life, problems, and solutions always at the present time. The Gospel does not recognize words such as hope “hope”, which are fundamental in all the great spiritualities of the world. Hope is not an evangelical term, it is never mentioned, not even once. Everything in Jesus' Word is conjugated in the present, in the light of faith. Forceful and loving faith, faith in the reality and present truth of Jesus is always a complete realization of God's love, of His will here and now.
Intelligence can only recognize that Jesus' Word is intelligent. Jesus himself points out: Are even you likewise without understanding? Perhaps Jesus' Word does not seem useful to our projects, does not fit into our ideologies, is not feasible in view of our social training, but we can never say that it is not intelligent, luminous, universal, wonderful, new, logical, consistent, true, penetrating, brilliant.
One day, when intelligent men, really intelligent men and women listen to it, they will really take it into consideration, appreciating its power and truth. Paradoxically they can even take the liberty of not believing in Jesus, but if they will put it into practice accurately and respectfully they will change the world turning it into a wonderful reality. They will change the way of creating culture, of producing art, of making political choices, of having fun, of loving and relating, of curing physical and mental diseases. Intelligent men and women whose understanding has not been plundered or nullified by anger and resentment are needed. Anger makes people stupid.
Those intelligent men and women will utilize the Gospel as a new and rational opportunity to change and improve life on this planet, taking life, all human life and creation to unexpected, extraordinary levels of well-being. And all this will take place without waiting for heaven, because heaven could begin here on earth.
The Gospel is an extraordinary opportunity to change the world without wasting centuries' of time and human lives in human opinions, deception, theories and beliefs. What can change the world is a journey of awareness and intelligence which will slowly but surely lead to love and faith in God.
If, out of lack of understanding, believers fail in this task and appointment to teach and to put into practice the Gospel for the sake of the world, helping the peoples of the world to increase their awareness, that same chance will be offered to men and women who are maybe less inclined to faith, but who are humbly more intelligent and aware.