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Lent Week 4 Thursday - Knowing and Not Knowing the Scriptures

Thursday, March 26, 2009
Readings: Ex 32: 7-14; Ps 106: 19-20,21-22, 23; John 5:31-47.

There are interesting links to be made between the first reading and the Gospel. In the first reading we see Moses pleading, interceding for the people of Israel, that God might show them mercy. Today's psalm also speaks of Moses standing 'in the breach' between the people and God, so that God might 'turn back his destructive wrath'. It is then interesting to find Jesus saying in the Gospel that the people will be accused by Moses. What is going on? So often we read how the people doubted the message that Jesus brought, a message that was preached not only by what he said, but by what he did, through his works of healing, and of ministering forgiveness. All these things point towards who Jesus is, and to the Father whom he reveals. But the people just don't get it ...

There is a lesson for us all in today's readings. The people to whom Jesus is speaking seem to know the content of the Scriptures but at a more fundamental level are completely blind to their message. There is a deeper meaning to the story of Moses, one that points towards Christ, the very man who is stood before them. But this is something that is only revealed to those who sincerely search. The crowd 'know' the Scriptures but actually don't really 'know' them at all. So also there is a depth and meaning to the message of Christ for us. Let us make sure that we do not fall into the trap of thinking that we know the message and its richness, but rather seek to turn back to that message in humility each day, and allow its meaning to open us up to more fully receiving from God.

Robert Gay OP


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