I wanted to begin by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and to whisper a prayer that we will feel the surge of energy that comes with a new beginning.
We bid Matthew a fond farewell. And we are so grateful for his vision of a spiritual transfiguration which moves us from blindness to sight, deafness to hearing, drowsiness to awakening, lostness to finding and deadness to rising! Yet, as we move alongside Mark, we will see and feel the same beauty and grace at work in the stories that Jesus told and the conversations that came from them. Marks Gospel has great stories!
As a Teacher, Jesus is not into giving information. Instead, He teaches in a way that calls the listener to a heightened awareness. And over the next twelve months we will have the privilege of watching Him working with open and closed minds and offering to all the fullness He knows in Himself. (John 1,16)
Reuven Gold once told a great story. "Once upon a time, a very distressed disciple pounded on the door of his teachers house at midnight. The teacher opened the door. The house was in darkness, but the teacher held a candle in his hand. The disciple blurted out that he was filled with anxiety and had to speak with the teacher at once. The teacher opened wide the door. The disciple entered and the teacher closed the door. Then the teacher blew out the candle".
When he said the last sentence, Reuven's eyes widened, and a grin of revelation spread across his face. We know the problems we face. We know how the door opens and closes. How the light flashes in the darkness. We know how those who wait, who watch and who move with compassion, discover, without worshipping their emotions, the thing that is needed.
In 'The Gift: Poems by the Great Sufi Master', Daniel Ladinsky describes the alertness demanded by Jesus In today's Gospel beautifully.
How do I Listen to others?
As if everyone were my Master
Speaking to me, His Cherished, Last, Words.