18 April 2021. 3rd Sunday of Easter. Cycle B-2021. Acts 3:13-15,17-19 + 1 Jn 2:1-5a + Lk 24:35-48
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45).
Knowing Scriptures is different from understanding Scriptures. Since the Scriptures is Divine Revelation, to understand what it says is a gift from the Holy Spirit, not through intellect.
Jesus spoke briefly but taught clearly. He spoke to both the heart and to the mind. Although He spoke with authority, He wrote down nothing. Less wordy, but more worthy.
Theologians, including preachers, with great effort, try to clarify Jesus’ simple teachings. Sometimes they obfuscate rather than illuminate His message. Often they complicate the simple such that the listener would doubt rather than believe. More wordy, yet less worthy.
When Jesus picked his apostles, He chose fishermen with simple minds that were easy to open. He did not include any Scribe or Pharisee whose intellectual minds were tightly closed.
When the Holy Spirit opened the minds of the apostles, they got a gift to quote Scriptures at the drop of the hat. Their minds began to remember all the things that the Teacher taught. Through open-minded disciples, Jesus changed the world.
When I reflect on a Scripture passage, I thus pray to the Holy Spirit to open my mind to understand the message that the Scriptures passage is telling me. As in Jesus’ disciples, it takes faith, not intellect, to understand the Scriptures. I pray to the Holy Spirit to give me much faith.
I did not know where to locate the passages I cited. I did not have the memory that the Holy Spirit gifted to others. Passages, in part or in full, however, popped up in my mind, and from there I got to locate them in the Scriptures through the search engine.
One passage often linked me to other passages. But, as soon as I finished writing down the reflection, I forgot the cross-references I cited. I had to refer to my reflection to know these again.
The Scriptures is a Living Word. Unlike other literary works that tell only one message, a Scriptures passage tells one message to one reader or listener, but tells a different message to another. One passage, therefore, could generate a billion messages.
Even if the Great Teacher did not write any book for the world, the world could not contain all the books His disciples would write about Him, about His work, and about His message (cf. John 21:25). VSS
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