A donkey wanders (on Sunday #14)

Standard

Zechariah Zec 9:9-10 opens the day with the image of Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem;” See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” Riding on an ass contrasts with riding on a stallion. The stallion is the transportation of the warrior, the ass carries wisdom. Quiet, unassuming wisdom does not rule by force. It becomes apparent when force leads to exhaustion. It is the silence after the last bomb falls, it is the silence after the last scream. It is what is said when not another word can be spoken, it is the Word of the LORD. It is the Word of the LORD silently spoken, the Holy Spirit. It is done, Gods victory in spite of man’s blunders.

It is why Jesus rides into that ancient city, not to fight yet another futile battle but to atone for man’s sins. Jesus rides into the city on an ass to carry us back to God. That is the reason for the journey, the Word becomes flesh to lift our spirit up from the flesh towards the divine. That is what Paul’s letter Rom 8:9, 11-13 go the Roman’s addresses. “Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.” There comes the silence of contemplation (and of prayer). It is not an argument of Body versus Spirit, it is the reality that the body carries a spirit as a donkey carries the LORD.

The donkey, that beast of burden, carries what it must. It carries what is placed upon it. Entering Jerusalem that donkey carries the Son of God. It could have carried rocks, it could have carried Satin himself. The donkey could have climbed towards heaven, or plunged into the depths of hell. The donkey carries a load. And Jesus exclaimed “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Body or Spirit, which weighs more? Mt 11:25-30 For certain many think body, it is measured in pounds. But the spirit, cant that be heavier than the heaviest load? A spirit of sin and destruction and despair? A spirit of earthly concerns, the spirit of the popular consumer culture? The spirit of popular opinion. A spirit of hatred and injustice? Aren’t they all heavy burdens? They are the burdens of this world, they are its bombs of destruction. They are the earthly battles. They are what hangs on the Cross. They are the sins of humanity. They are why Jesus enters into creation. His mission is to remove that burden of sin, and place upon us the grace of God. The donkey carries a parcel.

Oh, and how does that donkey decide what parcel to carry? The beast pray’s. It prays that it might be given a suitable task, and a burden not to great. It also prays that it might carry that parcel through treacherous land, it knows well its duty. Some look at the animals back and notice the weight it can carry, but one should pay attention what lies between the donkeys eyes and ears. The beast has a brain after all, call it free will if you will. If given a parcel it dislikes it can buck and kick. If told to do something disagreeable it can squeal. If told to journey where it should not, then it becomes stubborn as a mule. Though it is an animal of burden, it is no fool. The donkey has an intellect. A gentile yoke, and easy task, a light burden should bring Joy; especially if it has carried the opposite for so long.

Fractured Wednesday , two days later

Standard

A lot of chatter about Summorum Pontificum, and I ponder writings of two days ago. On that day I did yak-yak about earthly divisions and a fracturing of the good LORD’s creation. Look it up if you care. Today, I wonder of that fracturing of planet earth but today the focus becomes narrow. Today is the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.  That has generated a lot of chatter in the cyber-press that this person reads. For the uninformed Summorum Pontificum is the document that gives permission for priests to return to the Traditional Latin Mass. For them to return to the TLM, by definition leads to abandoning something. There is the fracture, the break. A line is drawn. On one side is the traditionalist, the Tradies. On the other the liberal progressive modernist forward thinkers. Intellectuals and university types.They battle the archaic old farts. Tempers flare, words are spoken. Anger and  strife. Opinions and counter opinions. A fracture greater that the crack in the famed liberty bell. There is division among a small part if creation, Christ’s Church. The Holy Church. The one Holy and Apostolic Church. Of course this is not the first fracture. If one has a good memory they will remember the fracture of the orthodox. If one has a good memory they will remember Martin Luther’s exit. If one has a good memory they will remember the departure of some King of England. He sought a divorce. If one has a good memory they will remember the departure of the Calvin and other progressive minds. A simple crack in a rock becomes a pile of gravel, the common task of the incarcerated. But then I remember my conclusion on “fractured Wednesday. ” The LORD will divide whatever the LORD chooses. The LORD will conquer the opponent, The LORD will leave them in rubble. Then the LORD will reassemble, reconstruct what the LORD chooses. My opinion counts for nothing. I can sit by quietly and watch the LORD at work. 800!

Fractured Wednesday

Standard

All sorts of things cause division. The first reading mentions how the two sons of Abraham are divided. One born of his wife Sarah, and the other of their slave Hagar. Both were sons of Abraham, yet they were divided as sheep are divided from goats. The story often is used as a description of nations formed. The son Isaac , and the on Ishmael : the patriarchs of Israel and Islam. They become great nations, and also rivals. Because they are divided. One free, another from a slave; yet in Christ equal in the eyes of the Father. Jesus does not preach a kingdom of Judea and a  kingdom of Islam, to Jesus it is the kingdom of God.

Sarah noticed the son whom Hagar the Egyptian
had borne to Abraham
playing with her son Isaac;
so she demanded of Abraham:
“Drive out that slave and her son!

Gn 21:5, 8-20a

The odd thing about the division of the earth is that the division multiplies. From two sons, to two nations, to twelve tribes, to an abundance of kingdoms (each with its deity). Earth becomes divided, and so does heaven. Fractured and fragmented, a shredding of the glory of creation.

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?

The gospel reading Mt 8:28-34 also tells of a fragment of creation. As Jesus crosses the sea He and the disciples enter the land of the Gentiles and for the followers of the covenant it is a fearful place. To their eyes there is uncleanliness, and evil of an epic proportion. It is as if they had entered hell, and that hell was guarded by demons. Surprisingly Jesus conquered those demonic creatures, and that brings its own fear. Once an earthen vessel is shattered, it is difficult to assemble those shards together to make the vessel whole again. Yet that is the mission of Christ, to reunite creation and make it whole. The kingdom of God is at hand. A broken and divided world put back together, creation healed.

(if one travels to a potters studio they will often notice a wall with broken pottery scattered beneath it. That is what the potter does with pieces that do not meet expectations. Of course since they have already been fired, they can not be reassembled. God often scatters or shatters man  when disobedient, but also reassembles him at the proper time. That’s the difference between God and man. Man can neither destroy or recreate Gods creation, though they often disagree. Nothing is impossible for God.)

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Quote

“I answer that, Two things are requisite for faith. First, that the things which are of faith should be proposed to man: this is necessary in order that man believe anything explicitly.

The second thing requisite for faith is the assent of the believer to the things which are proposed to him. Accordingly, as regards the first of these, faith must needs be from God.

Because those things which are of faith surpass human reason, hence they do not come to man’s knowledge, unless God reveal them.

To some, indeed, they are revealed by God immediately, as those things which were revealed to the apostles and prophets, while to some they are proposed by God in sending preachers of the faith, according to Rm. 10:15: “How shall they preach, unless they be sent?” ”

St. Thomas Aquinasst-thomas-aq