So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him [Jesus].
Day Twenty Eight of Lent: Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent – John 7
“So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him [Jesus]” –Jn 7:43.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Division. It followed Jesus (and His followers) wherever He went. While many of His time were compelled to follow Him, many more wanted Him arrested or dead. His message, then and now, breeds both hope and fear. Hope in those who know the Truth, and fear in those who do not understand, do not like to be challenged, or do not like the call to sacrifice.
In his new book The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, Catholic author Richard Rohr explains that the division that follows Jesus in Scripture (as well as in our world today), amongst other things, comes down to our dualistic mind-set of being unable to reconcile the fact that Jesus was and is both fully human and fully divine. Of this Rohr writes, “[This] does not compute with our limited computer! Our dualistic mind needs to split and divide, with the result that it understands Jesus as only divine and understands human beings as only human despite all Scriptural and mystical affirmations to the contrary.” He goes on to say that overcoming this divide is the “whole point of the Incarnation of God in Christ,” but still our nature makes us unable to fully integrate this reality.
Unfortunately, when human beings do not understand something, instead of drawing forward in faith with a humble willingness to learn, they tend to push what needs to be learned away. In today’s Gospel readings, we sense that same human disposition even though the Roman guards admitted, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” That’s because this man was God Himself – the Word made flesh; mankind’s Savior.
Day 28 Lenten Meditation
It is okay not to understand the fullness – the full theology of – Jesus’ reality. This will more than likely remain the case because anything divine is often beyond human comprehension. For this reason, Jesus called all mankind to have ‘faith as little children’ (Matt 18:2-4). One of the greatest saints of the Church, St. Augustine, once said of the human comprehension of God that “If you understand it, then it is not God.” Trappist monk Thomas Merton said moreover, “We can never fully know Him if we think of Him as an object of capture, to be fenced in by the enclosure of our own ideas [and mortal rationale].” In light of these statements, take a moment to think about what kind of fence you may have put around God and your understanding of Him. How might that impact your faith?
Additional Readings Today
John 7:40-53; Jer. 11:18-20
Jesus, we come before the Throne of grace today surrendering all our limitations and failures before You. We ask for the grace to be strengthened in virtue and for our hearts to better know You, eyes to better see You, and minds to better comprehend You. Help us to recognize You in all of Your mystery in all of our experiences; and help to heal our divided hearts. Give us simple and innocent hearts like children so that in our humility and spiritual poverty we may begin to know You as You truly are. We pray this all in Your good and holy Name, amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Pray in a special way to Jesus. Ask for an increased faith and wisdom in order to understand more of what you do not yet understand.
“Don’t let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith … and light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart” -Saint Josemaria Escriva.