Monday 6 September 2021

Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 6:6-11

Fear of change

A beautiful, wealthy city located in an exquisite valley surrounded by woods, rivers, lakes and numerous natural beauties learns that a king from a distant land is ravaging the neighboring regions destroying with his army everything in sight as they move forward. The city immediately sets to work and in the time left before the inevitable fight the inhabitants build gigantic walls and other architectural works to endure the siege. The lush plains that surround the city are turned into minefields  to halt the enemy's advance. Plows are turned into war machines, fine materials into military uniforms and equipment, and instead of being served at banquets the food was stored in preparation of the long siege.  Fences, forts, trenches, towers, ramparts and everywhere gigantic walls are built. When the enemy arrives the battle is violent and the siege terrible. The warrior king and army are fierce, organized and extremely violent but despite their awesome strength thousands of soldiers are killed and the king admits defeat. The city has won, but at what price? An unbelievable price in human lives that can never be replaced, the countryside is devastated, homes, shops and gathering places ruined.
Much later the inhabitants have rebuilt their houses, shops, churches and squares; the city has been rebuilt, but the gigantic walls remain. They are left there as a reminder to the city's inhabitants and as a warning for the enemies. Each individual's city has been built in this same way: through battle and conflicts, failures and victories. Then to reinforce our psychic structure we build an enormous wall. The psychic equilibrium of our person is not founded and built on love, but on our painful defenses which are gigantic walls around our wounds. That is why our greatest fear is that of changing, changing the balance upon which our lives and relationships are constructed. It is fear that after all that we have suffered and endured to build our equilibrium on those walls, built at the cost of great pain to protect us from our enemies, someone comes to tell us that we can change, we can change our balance. In this sense there could be no worse enemy for our balance than Jesus and the Gospel.
Nothing on earth more than Jesus and the Gospel has the power to offer us new mental and spiritual equilibriums for living. Come up and stand before us is a sublime example. Come up from your balance, get out of your armor, come here before us away from the wall which you love, and stop, stop being afraid, stop building to defend yourself, stop being a slave to your memories and wounds. Come up and stand before us with a new balance, and a new spiritual profile.  Come up and stand before us, begin again and build a new relationship with your life, with love, with yourself and with God.
The man with the withered hand man is healed, he found a new spiritual and physical balance, but the scribes and the pharisee did not. They were not about to change their balance, to get up and stand before the Lord without fear and protection, without defenses and arrogance. They were not willing to accept a new balance and they kept fighting; they kept fighting even someone who was not their enemy, the one who is Love and Compassion. The person who is not disposed  to change the foundations of his/her balances founded on fears and defenses must be prepared to struggle and fight everybody and everything without ever distinguishing between friend or foe.