March 31, 2023
I love you, O LORD, my strength, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. Ps 18
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. . . . Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Jn_10:31-42
Well, here we are at the end of the last week of Lent. Our fasting is nearly complete, our oblations accepted, our faith acknowledged, our souls have been cleansed, and we have one last tunnel to pass through with Jesus, our guide, our soulmate, our life and our salvation.
And like Jeremiah, who was well aware of the trials yet to come his way, we, along with Jesus, place our trust in our Father, who will not allow us to stumble, nor fall, on our Journey back to Him.
And so, on this Fifth Friday of Lent, we are presented with a riddle.
What is it that could be: A durable keeper of records past; and yet, a threatening destroyer of life in the present? A protector of homes and cities; or a weapon of aggression or defense? A maker of mountains high; or a tripping cause to bring us low? A firm foundation for a still and mighty fortress; or a rhythmical beat to move our souls?
You see, the Jewish leaders had a close relationship with STONES. But instead of being the Rock Foundation for their Church, their Faith, they were the Rock destroyers of it, simply because of their own insecurity, their own Lack of relationship with God. Yes, they had their 600-some laws, their Torah, their fancy Vestments, and their Temple. But it was all meaningless when they picked up those stones instead of bending their knees to praise the God who forgave, as they should have forgiven.
When we can humble ourselves, brothers and sisters, and rely solely on our God, on the Words of Jesus, for all that we need and are, then we can be His Rock of Salvation for others. We become those “living stones” of His Church. Not MY Church, but His and His alone!
And if by now, our minds are still lost on the riddle of the stones, then here is it’s key.
The keeper of the past is the Fossil Rock. The destroyer of life present is a the molten rock of a Volcano or an rock crevice of an Earthquake. The protector of a home or a city is a Stone Wall. The weapon of aggression or defense is a rock. The maker of mountains is, again, the Rock of the earth. And the tripper is the Stumbling Block. The Firm Foundation is the rock slab of a temple or a house, or our Faith in Jesus. And the Rhythmical, moving Beat is, of course, Rock and Roll music.
As the Psalmist said, ‘The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer, my Shield, my saving Horn, my Stronghold! In Him alone is my Salvation.’ (Ps 18)
As we approach our Holy Week of Paschal celebration, of Passion and Suffering, of death and mourning, we look forward, not just to our Hope of Salvation through the Works and Words of Jesus, but we have the sure knowledge of eternal life, through His Resurrection.
And THAT’s the best reason for our Easter, and our lifelong – Joy!
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