Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, February 5, 2012
[ The Fifth Sunday of Epiphany in the Christian Calendar ]
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds
that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never
enter the kingdom of heaven." [ Matthew ]
Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of
God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they
are unable to understand them because they are spiritually
discerned. [ 1 Cor 2. ]
"Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?"
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high. [ Isaiah 58 ]
From the readings for the 5th Sunday of Epiphany
[ Revised Common Lectionary ]
This Sunday is a Zinger! It’s about Self-deception and Blindness. To my mind, the readings are a window into the fragility and into the mysteriousness of being Human.
So many folk think they understand themselves. This is one of the great deceptions of being Human. Let me give you a contemporary political example: the United States Republican party today sincerely believes that their politics would please God. This is the height of self-deception. The truth is: we are indeed our “sister’s keeper”. Jesus made this very clear. Every time he blasted the Pharisees, it was because they – the popular icon of adherence to the Law - did not live up to their calling.
I would call this “Self-Awareness Sunday”. The readings are reminding us how easily we deceive ourselves. Many contemporary “Christians” are very good at appearing pious - just listen to all the self-righteous pap that is flooding the airways these days, without a resemblance to Christ’s beautiful and Godly Compassion!
“You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” Most serious Christians think they know the truth about themselves. We do not. Just like the apostles did not. To know the truth requires a surrender minute by minute to the throne of God … a surrender to the sweet Gospel Message.
Fast … and SEE! Humble yourself and NOTICE! Serve and DO NOT OPPRESS!
“Give us the liberty of that abundant Life”. It’s the Life of Compassion, of self-confidence and self-oblation. It’s the Life that is accessible when you know that God made you perfect-in-fallibility, and only asks that you agree to be transfigured day by day by Her compelling Grace.