John 7:1-30 Unpredictable
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem tried to arrest Jesus, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
We know where He is from. We worry so much about so many things. We worry about what other people think of us. We worry about our reputations. We worry that no one will take us seriously. We worry about human praise! But what we don’t worry nearly enough about is what God thinks of us.
For this reason we hesitate in speaking out and doing good. For this reason we confuse humility with weakness and wealth with material possessions. For this reason we get tricked into believing that a superficial life is a blessed life.
But the truth cannot be hidden, not even from our schools and media. Even our very cynical media had to admit that the worldly Cardinals elected someone unlike them! Even they had to admit that they had been shocked. After all, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio didn’t even make it in FOXNEWS “Sweet Sistine”!
What I love about life is that it remains unpredictable. I don’t mean “random.” No, not at all! The Cardinals did not randomly choose a pope. They thought about it, prayed about it, and they themselves were surprised by the results of it. I love it! I love life! And though we can better explain the mechanics of it, we have no way of predicting the results of it! As a young boy, I am sure that little Jorge never predicted that one day he would become Pope!
Pope Francis is a highly intelligent man. He is a Jesuit, and Jesuits have big brains. And though he spent a great deal of time in study, he would often be found mingling with simple folks. We knew he spent a great deal of time with the poor. What we didn’t know is that he found time among souls addicted to hard drugs.
Why is all this news “shocking”? I think it’s because people, especially people from the secular west, are extremely narrow-minded. I say “extremely” narrow-minded because they exclude God from all their calculations. Now that’s extreme! Just as extreme as those who exclude reason from everything! Maybe that’s one explanation for our current conflicts in the Middle East.
Scientific formulas are great for technological purposes. But what they should never be used for is to think of man as a machine. He is not!
Suppose for a moment that science one day produces an explanation for why I think my wife loves me, should I then stop believing that she does? Should I stop being surprised that she does? Of course not!
Science classes have a tendency to take the surprise out of life! In all my biology classes, we never discussed what really distinguished man from animals. We never discussed poetry, music, art and literature. We never discussed love or the soul. We never discussed the beauty of life and all its unpredictability. We never discussed the beauty or ugliness of our decisions.
If religion is an illness, then it affected the human race early on, very early on, and spread like wildfire: quickly. If religion is an illness, then it is an illness of the same category as blood, bones, skin, eyes, ears and nose; trenscending all cultures, all races and all locations. To say that all religions are the same is like saying all humans are the same! Sure, when it comes to having ears and noses. But when it comes to being a pacifist or racist, or comedian or theologian; well, there are plenty of differences between us. I would have loved to have seen St. Francis of Assisi in the same room with Joseph Stalin, or Nietzsche with St. Thomas Aquinas, or Christopher Hitchens with Mother Teresa. What would they have thought of the other? Who would have been rude and obnoxious? I know the answer to that question! Don’t you?
Our schools, especially our public schools, have produced some extremely narrow-minded individuals. Of course some teachers would disagree with me. They would say that they shined a great light into darkness. What they would never admit is that they brought a great big blanket and covered the light.
It appears to me the more we learn about one another, the less we do for one another. It just doesn’t seem like we are using our knowledge to the best of our abilities. It seems like we are only going through the motions.
Resolution: I will do something that is beautiful and holy, spiritual and selfless. I will do something that is very bio-mechanical, yet totally unpredictable.