Thursday 17 January 2019

Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent

Some of us seem to assume that we know it all. For example, by just getting some information about a certain person, some of us form all sorts of conclusions about the person, and think that we know everything about the person. One situation where this may happen is when a priest is posted to his home parish as parish priest. Some may assume that they know him well, since they have seen him grow up from a child, and they assume that they know his background, character and so on. But can we really assume that we know a person completely? Could we ever admit that we have been wrong about some or even all of our assumptions?

In today's Gospel, a lot of assumptions had been made about Jesus, especially about His identity. The Pharisees thought they knew everything about Jesus, and assumed that Jesus could not possibly be a prophet, since they assumed that He came from Galilee. Also, the Pharisees condemned the crowd for following Jesus,  and said about them: "This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned." since they assumed they knew best about the Law and who Jesus was. In the midst of these assumptions, an unexpected challenge came from Nicodemus, who challenged the people to give Jesus a hearing and to discover for themselves who Jesus really was. But the assumptions far outnumbered and drowned out the challenge.

What does this mean to us? It means that when our minds are closed, and we choose to stick stubbornly to our assumptions, we can never grow or change. We begin to think that our ways are exactly what God expects of us, even though in reality, we could be quite wrong. This smacks of pride, prejudice and ego. Would we be really and ever willing to humble ourselves, and discover Jesus as He really is, and walk in His ways, not according to what we think are His ways?

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