Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Longer Dared

November 20, 2010
Saturday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

“That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." Some of the scribes said in reply, "Teacher, you have answered well." And they no longer dared to ask him anything. Luke 20:37-40

Cursillo Leaders Prayer
Lord, grant that we may understand the necessity for depth in our movement, rather than surface glory. Convince us of the truth that colorful programs do not constitute success.

My God, give us a spirit of self sacrifice so that we may offer everything for your cause: our time, our abilities, our health and even our lives if necessary.

Instill in us courage in our initiatives, good judgment in our choice of the right means, and that determination which in spite of failures assures victory.

Move away from us the tiny rivalries, sensitivities, discourtesies, pride, everything which distracts from You, everything which divides or discourages.

Help us to maintain at a high level a meaningful supernatural and mutual charity among ourselves, so that each one will seek by preference the most humble tasks and will rejoice at the good performed by others so that all our spirits united in a common purpose will have one single sprit, Yours Jesus, and that this spirit may let us see Your attractive goodness marked in all our faces, Your warm accents in all our words, and in our lives something superior to the world, something that proclaims Your Living Presence among us. Amen.

St. Paul, Patron of Cursillo - Pray for us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron of the Americas - Pray for us.

The temple conflicts between Jesus and the Pharisees pretty much come to a close with this encounter. After repeated attempts to catch Jesus preaching content at odds with Mosaic Law, the Pharisees are unable to construct a question difficult enough to trap Jesus. After Jesus successfully responds to this mindtrap, the Pharisees back off and no longer dared to ask him anything.

Literally, today’s Gospel challenge is a question about the resurrection. It is meaningful because the answer gives one final point of emphasis to the authority and knowledge that Jesus has --- authority which allows him to rise above having any petty conflicts with the temple elders over who was in charge.

With this “epiphany,” some of the temple leaders realize that the knowledge Jesus possesses goes well beyond their bookish knowledge. We know that Jesus has knowledge that goes beyond studying the scrolls in religious education. His study springs forth from his spirituality. His spirituality compels him to action.

This reading nearly closes out the 2010 liturgical year. Only one week remains. In the encounter, we can recall all the conflicts that have come before and the ultimate encounter with authorities which lies ahead as triumph turns to tragedy. Tragedy turns to arrest. Arrest turns to torture and execution. Execution leads to death by hanging on the cross.

But, ah, through Jesus, we also know that death turns to life. His reach so exceeds anything we or the Pharisees can ever grasp.

Jesus – in his life of piety, study and action – carries out that mission in the real world. That world is the skeptical world also populated by the Jews, attending the temple ruled by the the Pharisees, in a land occupied by the Romans.

The same is true for us. Our church of today must exist in the modern world just like the ancient church had to exist in the ancient world. Our piety, study and action is likely to meet the some of the same kind of conflict and resistance that Jesus met – personally, spiritually and politically. His challenge came from within his own community and within his own church. We might find the same thing. It might be easier to witness the Gospel to strangers on a hillside or on the shores of the lake than it is among our own family and friends.

Where is the conflict in your life that has to be resolved? How can you answer the conflict?