Friday 19 November 2021

Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 19:45-48

The people were hanging

All the people were hanging on his words. For the leaders of the political power and of the  religious hierarchy, that is enough to decree Jesus' death. They simply cannot bear Him anymore. But why? Because people listen to Him. People listen to Him willingly, they listen to Him with surprise, with desire, they are literally hanging on His lips and words. They listen to Him with love and surprise, a kind of listening that the powerful and the leaders have never been able to claim for themselves. People listen to the Lord Jesus as they have never done with the leaders and priests of the temple. The chief priests and the scribes, the religious hierarchies, have been talking and transmitting God's Word to the people for centuries, and they have managed to do something impossible. They managed to make God's word distant and dull to people's ears and hearts. They succeeded in something really impossible. Although they had the most amazing Word of all human history at their disposal, they managed to be boring. While announcing the highest peak of wisdom and of all human knowledge, they managed to become uninteresting and monotonous. While preaching the most beautiful, evolutionary proposal, capable of bringing wisdom, joy and beauty never heard of before, they were able to cause annoyance and impatience. They managed to become dull and obtuse in transferring the simplest, most direct and true words that humanity has ever received by divine gift. They managed to make the most graceful and transparent Word harsh and frightening. Although they had the most luminous and enlightening Word, the most perfectly dedicated to the awakening of man, they managed to bore and anesthetize people for millennia. They managed to be lifeless and impersonal with the most sapient, personal, powerful, fresh, innovative Word that man has ever known. They managed to tire people about God's Word so perfectly and punctually as to turn the crystal-clear, sprightly, effervescent, lively spring of God's Word into a slimy, smelly, sad and unapproachable pond. Those who still listen to them are either deaf or compelled by fear.
They did it and it is not a matter of missing oratory and communicative skills. The reason that made this possible is different. Actually no one is hanging on the words of the religious and political hierarchies because the religious and political hierarchies did everything to make people hang not on the wonderful Word of life, but on banks, economic power and the slavery of money. Jesus cries out to them the reason of their failure: My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. You can silence all the uneasy voices, but it remains difficult to silence Him. They tried, but neither nails nor tombstone were enough.