8th SUN ORD – [An Aside]
We’ve had such challenging gospels on Sundays since the Sermon on the Mount began. Same for the weekdays of the 8th Week – tough to deal with. I hope this aside clarifies where I’m going with the Sunday gospel from the 8th Week. And it’s a pretty darn good set-up for Lent. YIKES!
Monday, February 27: T0 the rich man who asked about inheriting eternal life, “Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said, ‘There is one thing you are lacking. Go, sell what you have, give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then, come follow me… He went away sad for he had many possessions.”
Jesus told this rich person that he lacked “lack.” I trust it’s OK to play with the Greek, hustereo, “to lack, be empty.” We get the word for hysterectomy from it. The womb is the place of waiting, of emptiness, of lack. Jesus told him he had no womb. So, he sent him into emptiness and lack to find his treasure. Ouch.
In this instance, Jesus elicited sadness, grief (literally), and resistance from the rich man.
This in turn brought Peter’s statement into play, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus ended his instruction with, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.”
Then, he gave the second prediction of his passion, death, and resurrection – the full meaning of his Messiahship. Which led to the scene in which James & John ask to sit at Jesus’ right and left in the Reign of G0d. Predictably, the other ten went berserk, all arguing about who was the greatest.
And Jesus taught in reply, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all...”
Note the pattern – Teaching that points to and elicits emptiness (the root for many of us of envy, greed, lust, over-doing-this-or-that, gambling…), bringing it to the Light that it might be thawed.
Tomorrow – mammon!