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The Face of God

by Jul 14, 2021Friar Reflection

In the Gospel today Jesus is speaking out of experience, His experience that the Rabbis and the wise men rejected Him but the simple people accepted Him. The intellectuals had no use for Him, the humble welcomed Him.

Jesus was not condemning intellectual power; He was condemning intellectual pride. As one author said, “The heart not the head is the home of the gospel. A man may be very wise but without humility his wisdom can be a liability not an asset.”

The Rabbis had a story… “An epidemic once broke out in Sura, but in the neighborhood of Rab’s residence (a famous Rabbi) it did not appear.  The people thought that this was due to Rab’s merits, but in a dream, they were told… that it happened because of the merits of a man who willingly lent hoe and shovel to someone who wished to dig a grave. A fire once broke out in Drokeret, but the neighborhood of Rabbi Huna was spared.  The people thought it was due to the merits of Rabbi Huna, … but they were told in a dream that it was due to the merits of a certain woman, who used to heat her oven and place it at the disposal of her neighbors.” The man who lent his tools to someone in need, the woman who helped her neighbors as she could had no intellectual standing, but their simple deeds of human love and won them the approval of God.  Academic distinctions are not necessarily distinctions in the sight of God.

The Old Testament reading this morning is the famous story of the angel of the Lord appearing to Moses in the burning bush. What or who is the burning bush for you and me?

May our prayer be today, “Father help us to see you in the faces of the humble and the simple, of those who call out to us in their need. May our trust in the grace of your constant presence in our midst, enable us to be the means of your peace and mercy among our families and communities.”