Immersed in Christ. One Body. One Mission.

Browsing Reflections Archive

March 23. 2021

Daily Reflection for Tuesday March 23, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to read today's scriptures at the following link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the references are:
Reading I:  Numbers 21:4-9
Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21
Gospel:  John 8:21-30

Reflection on today’s readings:
I do nothing on my own . . . I say only what the Father taught me” (Jesus, in today’s gospel).
“This above all:  to thine own self be true” (Hamlet, Act I, scene iii).

I’m often torn between the two very powerful – but seemingly conflicting – quotes opening this reflection.  I frequently hear, “We’re not in control – God is” or, “It’s God’s program, not ours.”  But I’m also drawn in a very visceral way to behavior that’s consistent with the quote from Hamlet.  Who is in control here?

The control question is hard to answer when framed in “either/or” terms – as either God or us.  But maybe God sees the answer in “both/and” terms – as both God and us.  Lending support to this is a Jewish teaching that what Moses delivered on Mount Sinai wasn’t the final understanding of God’s Word.  Rather, it initiated a dialogue between God and humanity.  As a writer says, “Revelation did not end with Moses, but began with him.”  For Christians, Jesus was the incarnation and manifestation of God’s Word.

In a sense, revelation continues within each of us.  As disciples of Christ, we know that God created us in God’s image.  When we allow that presence to be our master plan, we’re true to our own self and to God.  While none of us embodies God’s Word as Jesus did, collectively we can “pour our souls into the crucible of time, to affix our names to the holy narrative.”  Together, as the living Body of Christ – and with God’s grace – revelation can continue.

It’s like passing wisdom on to children.  We tell them, “Here’s how” and they counter: “I do it!”  As they mature, the dialogue continues.  The process works best when we work together.  We help them see the goal of their journey and give them some general directions.  But we trust them to develop the detailed road map – which changes over time.  They’re true to themselves and to our guidance.

During a recent hospital stay [which had a very successful outcome because of a fantastic medical staff, and the prayers and support of so many], the young priest from our parish stopped to see me.  He left a small metal crucifix on my bedside table.  The next day, in a mental fog, what I thought I saw there was a key.  Later, I decided I was right -- the crucifix is a kind of key.  It reminds us of the sacrifice of Jesus, his obedience to God and his selfless love for us.  We are reminded that, like a key, the crucifix opened the way to create the Christian community.  It widened the spread of the Gospel.  The crucifix reminds us that whatever challenges await us, the cross will guide us.  It reminds us that we are most true to ourselves when we are most faithful to God.

Peace, my friends,
Bill Bradbury


RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs