Sister Anne Madeline Brost, OSB reflects on the scripture readings
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37
Probably we all have had the experience of rereading an article or book and receiving new meaning from it, then discovering lots of persons and places have been saying the same thing though I am just now “getting it.”
The book THE NEW MAN was written 70 years ago by Maurice Nicoll. I read it for the first time maybe forty years ago. But just now I am understanding the idea of the NEW MAN, especially in Scripture and the words of Jesus.
Jesus is calling us to a new level of being, to be born again of water and Spirit, to evolve to a way of being deeper than sense-knowledge. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus’ friends are not understanding what he is talking about. He tells them to be like children, little children especially, who are quite straight forward and simple. Their minds are mostly not cluttered with the news of the world, or the goings on of neighbors, or “who is the greatest.” Children go after food and love.
I am beginning to understand that what Jesus and Scripture are telling me is that I must become a NEW PERSON. Not just a better person. I must become like a child who does not live in her mind alone. I must delve into the depth of my being, my heart, and live from there, not from all the “stuff” I know and think about. I must transform my Head Knowledge to Heart Knowledge. I need to learn to share from my heart, not just from my head. “Be still and Know that I am God.”
When I live at the mind level of my being, I am the center of my life. I look for merit and reward. I want to be a better person. I will look to you to praise me for mopping the kitchen floor. If I am in touch with my heart, I will be aware that my mopping is contributing to the evolution of Creation.
But if I ponder this knowledge, I begin to have faith that there is more to life than what I know. I am beginning to understand that life is more than loving God and becoming a better person. Life is the Kingdom of Heaven. Life is bringing love to life, living with the awareness of bringing God’s love to life. Life is being aware of my part of this evolving Creation.
The stories in the New Testament give the knowledge that we need to go to a new level of being. It seems the Scripture writers understood what they were doing. They wrote down what Jesus said and did, with the hope that the readers would ponder Jesus’ words and actions to come to a deeper level of being, as happened to Peter in last Sunday’s Gospel when he said to Jesus, “You are the Christ.”
I receive that little child in me, so that the wisdom from above may be in me, as the reading from James says.: “The wisdom from above is first of all, pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity.”
Today, Jesus tells me of his death and resurrection. I must let that knowledge be in me, in that place of peace in my heart. May what comes from my heart be, not only a self-centered thankfulness for Jesus leading me, but also the experience of Death and Resurrection as the way for me, for all of us, to become New Persons. To be persons of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Like a little child I go after food and love, to be a eucharistic person.