Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Daily Gospel Reflection Mark 10:32-45

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Christianity is profoundly paradoxical, and this is just one more example of that. Jesus raises paradox to the highest possible pitch.

Paradoxes have a long history, usually relegated to scholars of logic and mathematics. In the context of our faith, a paradox is a proposition or set of conjunctive propositions that seem contradictory but are simultaneously true. When we think about paradox, we have the notion of holding two competing notions in our minds at once. Returning to the reading today, Jesus’ claim of being the Son of Man, His most frequent self-attribution, is a claim to divinity. Yet, he also claims to be a servant. 

The tempting move here is to try and resolve the tension. The rationalist, Pythagorean instinct within us moves in this direction. I submit that we should refrain from trying to resolve the competing polarities. Instead, we should quiet our minds until they are taken up and deeper into the mystery of God. Throughout salvation history, God shows us in vivid colors what Hamlet tells the ever-pragmatic Horatio: there are more things in heaven and earth than we can dream of in our philosophy. 

Paradoxes make us uncomfortable because they illuminate the boundaries of our finitude. Yet, in approaching these limits we realize more who we are before God, and we are brought to true humility. 

No comments:

Post a Comment