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Let us learn ignorance and become clever children

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Tuesday 1 of Advent - 5 December 2006

Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 71; Luke 10:21-24

“I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children” (Luke 10, 21-24).

Today, this passage of Luke’s gospel invites us to think about our way of learning and seeking the truth. And what a strange paradox: the learned and clever do not know, but those who do not know —the mere children— actually know the truth revealed by the Father… Is there a contradiction here? Could we hope to learn the truth anymore? Yes, our God is a God who hides himself, but he did not speak in secret in a land of darkness. He, the Lord, speaks the truth (Is 45:15;19).

As Christians, we have to seek this truth like mere children, and not like the clever. How are we to understand this paradoxical path that Jesus invites us to follow? Does it mean that the more we study, the less we are close to God? Of course not, if the way we study accepts our ignorance. We have to become ‘clever children’ by accepting that we do not have the entire truth and that we are still ignorant... and, then, able to be amazed... To seek the truth as a child is not to search for a good answer or a self-contained truth. It is an openness to have, which accepts its ignorance because there is always truth coming from outside, from other people, opinions, cultures or Churches than ours.

May these four weeks of Advent be a path for us to ‘learn ignorance’ so that we might be amazed when our saviour comes… as a little child.


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