November 21, 2014
(The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
In John’s vision, he said – I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.” Rv 10:8-11
After Jesus drove out and scolded the money changers in the Temple area, The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words. Lk 19:45-48
What is it in life, beloved, that could possibly keep us “hanging?”
Maybe it’s shopping the sales or hunting the BIG game.
Maybe it’s watching a Monday Night Football game
or playing with cuddly little grandchildren.
Maybe it’s being enveloped in enchanting music or
entranced in an ‘edge of our seat’ movie.
Or maybe it’s enjoying exotic travel or
even making lots of money.
You see, all of these words and activities tend to be sweet to somebody. Maybe it’s even us. Today we call them our “hot buttons.”
But what was it about the Words of Jesus that struck the “hot-buttons” of the people who listened to Him? And why did the Gospel writer, Luke, say that the people were “Hanging on His Words?”
You see, Words can be pretty powerful. Especially, depending on who they’re coming from.
I think we can understand the magnetism of the Voice that John heard coming from Heaven. It was unseen. It was powerful. It was probably even scary. And when something that dramatically overpowering tells us to ‘eat a piece of paper,’ we just DO it.
Maybe we never suspected that it would be sweet to our taste. But not everything that’s sweet to our taste is good for our stomach.
John longed to take-in the Goodness and the Righteousness of God’s precepts. But that didn’t mean that everyone else would feel the same way. And having received God’s message, it was then John’s obligation to inform the world around him that God was not very happy with their behavior. And an assignment like that, could turn anyone’s stomach sour!
So we can get a good idea of what the Sweetness of God’s promise, His Word, meant to John, the visionary – in the Book of Revelation. Just hearing that Word of God was clearly John’s hot-button. But doing what it commanded was not quite as thrilling.
And then, Jesus, being the WORD of God, presented the same sweetness and sourness to the people He spoke with, depending on which side of the fence they sat.
What the Pharisees and Jewish religious leaders heard, were accusations. And it was sour to their taste.
On the other hand, what the poor and infirmed masses heard, were Promises. They heard a promise of freedom. They heard a promise of healing. And they heard a promise of hope in a world that seemed so hopeless to them.
If we were lonely and someone promised that we would never be lonely again; if we were poor and someone promised that we would never be hungry again; if we were abandoned and someone promised us that God would never leave us; I think we would hang on to that “someone” so tightly, that we would never, ever let go.
And that “someone,” of course, is our Lord, Jesus Christ. To everything else in the world, we may cling with a light piece of thread. But to Jesus Christ, to this Word of God, we are bound to the sweetness and we are enduring of the sourness, because we know that all of His Promises are our Lifeline to Heaven!
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