To move from the written words to what they express…
To go beyond images to perceive what they describe…
To understand situations to the point of perceiving the reality they suggest…
This is the task that we are faced with in trying to understand the texts of Scripture, especially those of the gospel.
In simple words it means: to appropriate a text, to make it my own.
It demands of me that I try to discover what it really means in my own life.
The gospel text of this Sunday (Mark 9:30-37) can serve as an example.
The last verse mentions the words of Jesus:
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me;
and whoever welcomes me
does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
If someone were to ask you: ‘Did you ever welcome God?’,
you would probably hesitate to say ‘Yes’, or ‘No’.
But, did you ever welcome a child… in the name of Jesus?
If so, you have indeed welcomed God!
We should NOT see this reflection as some grammatical exercise, it is so much more than that!
It leads us to read the words of Scripture no longer as simply some sacred writings that we should understand and remember.
It enables us to receive the word of God addressed to us personally.
God’s message wants to reach us in our here-and-now situation, whatever it is at any given time.
If we allowed God’s words – God’s Word Himself in Jesus – to address us in such a personal way…
what a change this would make!
You need not take my word for it but… try it!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/