Friday, 30 January 2009

They were astonished at his teaching (Mk 1:21-28)

In the Gospel this week we can read of an account from the gospel of Mark, in which Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach on the Sabbath. Actually, it says Sabbaths, so it shows that Jesus probably went to teach in the synagogue every sabbath, as soon as He arrived in Capernaun.

It just remembered me about my time when I converted to Catholicism, or indeed Christianity, now about six years ago. The colleague in the office who started about God to talk to me was bringing up the conversation over and over again. It takes a lot of repetition before a message as profound as the message of Christ is really fully comprehended. In the handbook of the Legion of Mary, written by Frank Duff, it indicates that the Legion should be focusing on the quality of the work not the quantity, that we should try to help people really to grasp the Truth that is Jesus.

It was only after I had heard a lot about for example possibility of creation and how it all makes sense in the light of the Gospel that I was struck by the coherence of everything. It was then that I started to read the bible which set me on the road I am now walking. There is much in the doctrine of Christ, that is astonishing; the more we hear it, the more cause we shall see to admire it.

It is not a fairytale, or just some "let us make our self feel better scheme". We can read as well that Jesus, in this passage but also in many other passages, in support of His claims works miracles. When we are genuinely seeking God it is fair to ask Him to help to find Him. A lot of small little miracles happened around me when I converted, and God's Word did become real not only because it make logically sens, but also because He showed me it to be true.

The full authority of Christs' teaching comes because it is teaching that speaks to the heart, it is a message that touches us deeply if we allow it too. Christ taught as one that had authority, as one that knew the mind of God, and was commissioned to declare it. Through our baptism we are all called to declare the Gospel, by the way we life, at the place we work.

It is important for us to remember that we have to teach with authority as well, with which I mean that our beliefs have to come from our heart, from our knowledge and love of God. If we belief the message of Jesus Christ from our hearts, we will live a life accordingly, and others around us will see this, they will wonder what it is that is different in us. I am getting on my hobby horse again, but our faith has to be relevant to our life, it should make a difference!

In the priory here in Dublin we have a Lectio Divina group on Thursday evening. It was originally setup by Slovakian Dominican brothers who were studying here for a year, and as such most of the members are Slovakian. What struck me was that during the half an hour adoration which follows the lectio we had 15 young adults kneeling on a hard ground for 30 minutes without there being any noise or any movement... in a way, by just being there silently, they were teaching me with authority, it makes a difference!

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