Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If Jesus is the answer, what's the question?

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read "Jesus is the Answer". I commented to Lisa that Jesus isn't the answer, he's the Question. What do we do with him? How do we respond to him? What was his message & how do we respond to it?

The Gospel reeading from mass this past Sunday is one of those "hard sayings" of Jesus that make us squirm and question our preconceived ideas about him"

"Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire,and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided,three against two and two against three;a father will be divided against his sonand a son against his father,a mother against her daughterand a daughter against her mother,a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-lawand a daughter-in-law against
her mother-in-law.” - Lk 12:49-53

So much for gentile Jesus, meek & mild, eh? I was reminded of this passage as I read this quote from the dust cover of my new reading project, Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI:

"What did Jesus actually bring, if not world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God. He has brought the God who formerly unveiled his countenance gradually...He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about our origin and destiny: faith, hope, and love."

It's so tempting to get caught up in finding the right sound bite & bumper sticker slogan. Unfortunately, we so often miss the forest for the trees. Jesus didn't come to make me happy, he came to make me whole--by following his example of emptying, humility, and self-sacrifice--so that I can know God. He came to reveal the Father and call us to be sons in the Son, filii in FIlio. When we finally begin to wrap our heads around the idea that the Gospel isn't about us, that salvation isn't about us, that being a Christian isn't about us, but about God then we can really start to understand what it means to be a disciple, to be a community, a family of God.


Tiber Jumper said...

excellent post!

Susie said...

Yes...Jesus is the question for us all:

"Who do you say that I am?"

Powerful stuff, Tom!

onionboy said...

WWJD? Got Jesus? Jesus is the Answer etcetera ad nauseum. Good post.

O | luminousmiseries.ca | onionboy.ca

Anonymous said...

As Stewart Lee points out, Jesus is the answer to *certain* questions. Such as "For what role was the actor Robert Powell nominated for a BAFTA?"