What A Difference A Change Of Attitude Makes!

Click here for today’s Scripture readings.

2 Timothy 3:10-17
Mark 12: 35-37

Yesterday we heard the Pharisees questioning Jesus about the greatest commandment.  Today the tables are turned and Jesus poses an immensely important question for the Pharisees regarding David’s son.  Jesus asks: “How can the scribes say that the Christ, (the anointed one), is the son of David?”, when “David himself calls him Lord:…”.  The Pharisees, completely confounded by this question, are unable to respond.

Just what is Jesus getting at by posing this question?  I would like to suggest that Jesus is trying to lead them to see that the Messiah is not just a political leader but something more.  It is this something more that we believe as the Christological doctrine professing the two natures of Jesus…human and divine.  Each Sunday when we recite the Creed we profess that Jesus is “is born of the virgin Mary” (human) and “true God from true God” (divine).  We also profess that Jesus, now risen, is and with us always and everywhere.

Abraham Heschel, a 20th Century Polish-born Jewish philosopher and theologian told a poignant story about a remote monastic community whose numbers had diminished significantly.  Their only hope was the arrival of the “holy one” who would breathe new life into the community and restore it to its former prominence.

One day, as the monks were pondering what they might possibly do to hasten the arrival of the “holy one”, a stranger appeared at their door.  Of course, they were sure that this was the long-awaited “holy one”.  The Visitor assured them that he definitely was not the one whom they were expecting.  However, he did tell them that indeed the “holy one” was in their midst although he did not let them know which one of them was in fact the “holy one”.  They would have to discover that on their own.

When the Visitor took his leave from the monastery, the monks, aware of the fact that one of their members embodied the “holy one”, began to show profound respect and reverence toward one another.  Each monk, thinking that he couldn’t possibly be the one, went out of his way to express gratitude for the others’ presence in the community.

Soon, word spread about this community and how they treated each other with such respect and reverence. People from distant villages started coming to the monastery to observe this community of men and how they lived.  New members were added to the community and they began to thrive once again even more than they had ever hoped they would.

If we truly believe that what we profess when we recite the Creed each Sunday that Jesus is present in our midst how could it change the way we live our daily lives?  What does it mean with regard to our relationships to family, friends, co-workers, people we meet in passing each day?  If Jesus is with me and in me do I also believe that same Jesus is with and in everyone I come in contact with during my day?

Imagine if each one of us expressed sincere respect and reverence for everyone we came in contact with each day.  What difference do you suppose this would make in our world?

Indeed, the “holy one” is in our midst.

Alice Smith has been a part of Holy Family’s women’s retreat ministry for many years. She lives with her husband on Cape Cod.

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