Getting out of the Way

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9 November 2017

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Lateran Basilica (cathedral) in Rome. It is the pope’s church. When Pope Francis was elected as the successor of St. Peter he “took possession” of the Lateran. That is, an apostle recognises that grace comes from God – symbolised by his cathedral.

Today’s Gospel speaks to us of the intimacy of this grace. Jesus enters the temple in Jerusalem and finds that grace has been soiled by commercialism. He is not happy. He displays anger – an emotion given to us by God to fight injustice. By turning his Father’s house into a market, people are impeding the flow of grace. They are thwarting the activity of God.

It is our most solemn belief that the Father begets the Son and the love between the Father and Son is the Holy Spirit. Grace is a participation in this mysterious life and love of God.

Notice that word “beget.” It almost defies definition, especially in theology. It means that the Son has received everything from the Father, yet he is not created as I am created, as you are created. It denotes reception, yet not creativity. As I say, it almost defies definition.

Perhaps this line of thinking might help?

The Father “speaks” so perfectly that he begets a Word-Person. The Father “thinks” and “feels” of himself so perfectly that he begets a Wisdom-Person. This Person is the Son.

And of course, as we know, the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us (John 1:14). Now when the Word becomes flesh he desires that we “receive” as he has “received.”

And we do receive when we listen to the Word proclaimed in the Liturgy and when we consume the sacred body and precious blood of the Lord, the fruit of the Lord’s sacrificial love. This is normally done in a Church.

Well, no wonder Jesus got angry. A lot is at stake.

Let’s pray for the grace today of “getting out of the way.” We want the Lord to act, so that others – many, many others – may receive the grace of God.


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