At that time... let's make the most of it.. With these words a group of priests summed up the other day the temptation that some of us have to make the Gospel say what seems to me. And when I say "what seems to me" I am referring to an outlet for a personal problem, to a topic I feel comfortable with without thinking about it, to an article I read in the office, to a pamphlet I bought at the Paulinasor anything else.
The effect "I come to talk about my book" is verified over and over again when I have my topic -usually my mono-topic- and no matter what the readings, the liturgy, the people or the mummy of Tutankhamen say, I don't get out of there and I push, squeeze and shake the Word of God as much as it takes to make it end up supporting my moves.
In such cases, the words of the Gospel could properly be applied to us: "To whom shall I compare this generation? It resembles children who sit in the marketplaces and reproach their peers: 'We have played for you the flute and you have not danced; we have sung lamentations and you have not mourned.' For John has come, who neither eats nor drinks, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come, who eats and drinks, and they say, 'Behold, a man who eats and drinks, a friend of tax collectors and sinners'" (Mt 11:16-19).
The problem with the gospel is that it doesn't complain. You can use it as a paperweight, or you can manipulate it to beat -literally or figuratively- the people. In any case, the problem would not be, in any case, of the Gospel, but of the one who manipulates it since, as the Apocalypse says: "If anyone adds anything to them, God will send upon him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away any of the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book" (Rev 22:18-19).
What this last warning contained in the Bible emphasizes is that we are servers of the Word of God and not owners and, therefore, we are asked for an attitude of detachment from our own ideas, neurasWe have to kneel before God who speaks to us in order to give us an eternal, intimate truth, necessary to know Him and ourselves.
The prerequisite is, of course, an act of faith: believing in ourselves. for sure that it is the Word of God that is "lively and effective, sharper than a double-edged sword". (Heb 4:12-13) and it is not our word, nor our eloquence, that convinces and transforms people. Believed for sure In the words of St. Thomas: "Contemplata aliis tradere", to shine in order to illuminate, to contemplate in order to communicate (STh, II-II, q.188, a.6, c.). In the words of St. Thomas: "Contemplata aliis tradere," to shine in order to enlighten, to contemplate in order to communicate (STh, II-II, q.188, a.6, c), to be, in short, transparent so that-as St. Josemaría liked to say-he alone can shine forth.
So here we have, brother preacher, a point for our examination of conscience. How much of me is in my preaching and how much of Christ and how to do so that "He grows and I diminish." (Jn 3:30), lest my sermon of seven words become seven thousand, of which six thousand nine hundred and ninety-three are mine.
Yes, Bartimaeus was blind and Christ cured him, but I don't know if the message is that that's why we should buy more ONCE lottery tickets...; and Lazarus came out of the tomb after several days, but from there to make a defense. by machete of the need to take care of the parish cemetery... You know what I mean.
It is a matter of putting aside - for the moment - our ideas, our sensibility, our tastes and immersing ourselves in the eternal of the Word of God, sifting through it the circumstantial and anecdotal until we find, like a nugget of gold in the pan, the message that the Lord wants to communicate to us in the preaching of each day.
I believe that a good mechanism -the oldest of all- for this batting of the Word of God is the Lectio DivinaWe will talk about it in the next publication.