The Readings: Lamentations 1:17-22; 2 Corinthians 1:8-22; Mark 11:27-33
“For in him [Jesus] every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes’.”
We are approaching the Great Vigil, which is also an extended celebration of Paul’s ringing affirmation. From the story of the deliverance at the Sea (Exodus) to the vision of the dry bones (Ezekiel): Jesus God’s “Yes” to God’s promises. Someone we might desire to spend time with, which desire is the motor for the Daily Office.
Spending time with Jesus: not always smooth sailing, as the reading from Mark reminds us. Here a short detour may help. David Zarefsky does the course “Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning” for the Teaching Company. Arguing (properly done) “is a process, analogous to the scientific method, for determining what one believes is true about matters that are uncertain and contingent.” And arguing “is fundamentally a cooperative enterprise” in which the participants “risk being shown to be wrong” (from the course summaries).
The religious leaders are unwilling to risk, unwilling to acknowledge anything that does not support their position (e.g., the source of John’s baptism). So the argument goes nowhere, even with Jesus, in whom “every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes’.” I wonder if those leaders prided themselves on that culture’s equivalent of transparency.
Transparency. We want it in our leaders. Transparency when acknowledging the truth is damaging? We demand it of our opponents, are tempted to give it a pass with our allies. And with ourselves?
“For in him [Jesus] every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes’.” But apparently being God’s “Yes” doesn’t mean being willing to play games. What am I willing to risk when I approach this Jesus?