KNOWLEDGE THAT KILLS RATHER THAN SAVE. Prayer Reflection for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

Do you know that there are knowledge that can kill and that which gives life! Do you know there are some positions you attain in life such that instead of helping you become more human, it disconnects you from those around you, and you become alien to the reality in the world. Increasing in Knowledge is not the problem nor is it bad making progress, the real problem lie on how we make such progress, the intention driving us to grow in knowledge, and the way we make such progress. If you wish to know read slowly:

Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, you go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go. Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.’

POINTS FOR REFLECTION 
1. The Two Sons in the gospel represents two broad ways or modes of 'advancing knowledge' or 'making progress'. The first son who said NO at first, but later did the will of his father is progress or knowledge attained through EVALUATION while the other son who said YES but later did not do as he had promised represents INNOVATION
Through evaluation, ideas are scrutinised and subjected to moral, spiritual, health, social, etc, examination before it is accepted. It takes humility and patience to go through these processes. But Innovation in many instances is concerned about breaking grounds, breaking away from old methods of doing things, making a new name without considering the circumstances around. 
Both "evaluation" and "invention" have progress in mind but one is open and the other is closed to other views. Hence today we have all kinds of things, ideas, etc making knowledge claims and geared to human progress. Today we have those who claim that enlightenment have made them realise that Lesbianism, Gay, Bisexuality, Transgenderism, and Queerness are "true forms of living and expressions of love". Today many societies in the world move for legalisation of abortion, 'extreme interpretation and legalisation' of animal rights. All these are 'products of innovation' in the society.
At first glance there seems to be a good relationship between the two modes of growth but that which comes through EVALUATION is of higher value than the other. Hence the first son truly had done the will of the father, which is the will of God. 

2. As we advance in Knowledge we should be more careful and humble because knowledge by its nature connects us to higher values and things beyond us, but humility connects us to nature and real life. Hence scripture tells us "in your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus: His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are; he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross." Hence if knowledge does not connect you to those around you, it is not charitable and does not come from love. Such knowledge is destructive and leads to death.
3. The Chief priests and elders of the people represents the learned in the society. They question the authority of Jesus and rejects the teachings of John the baptist. Why? They are closed to EVALUATION. They don't want anyone to "rock their boats" of knowledge and comforts. They refuse to allow the tools of EVALUATION to examine their actions and knowledge because they want to sustain the comfort and respect they enjoy that came from their status in the society.

4. When we are closed to evaluation, defensive whenever we are corrected or justify our mistakes by giving reasons, so as to evade apologies, contrition and repentance we behave like the elders and chief priests, we become like the second son who pays lips service to his father. We become lip-service Christians! 
Study, seek progress with love and humility and you will break grounds....

TASK: When was your last sacramental confession? Find time and have your sins confessed. When you get there, accuse yourself and don't give reasons why you acted wrongly, Just accuse yourself, feel the shame, take it. It makes you stronger that was what Jesus did. He took our nature, took our sins, took our suffering and shame and died a scandalous death, but it did not end there! God exalted him and gave him a name greater than all names (Phil. 2:7-11). Learn humility through self evaluation! 

▪︎Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much
    I appreciate this this noble work and pray that God will give you grace and strength to move on without going back.

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    Replies
    1. Amen and thanks for your appreciation. God bless you for reading and praying

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  2. Grazie PADRE come sempre molto profondo e significativo, e coerente alla parola Dio ti benedica e ti custodisca nel e TI SOSTENGA sempre

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