>When we have really grasped the affects of sin in our lives in all its stark power and complex insinuations over my countless actions (and inactions) and reactions to other sinful actions and inactions, and seen how sin has wrapped itself around everyone of us in judgmental ignorance like a python, squeezing tighter and tighter; when we have really understood the malicious, murderous and doomed (in old English this means ‘judged’) nature of our sin; when we have really understood just how our minds are defined, narrowed and darkened by sin, how sin makes it impossible for us to have an open and loving heart able to respond creatively to life, and how sin has blocked in us all avenues for any really compassionate action; and when we have spent a long time marveling at Jesus’ sinlessness in the Gospels, gnawing deeply on every word of His, going down to the marrow of every thought, down to their most subtle hiding places, like a dog with a juicy bone (as Eugene Peterson puts it) – then there comes a moment when we understand, with brutal clarity, what Jesus said:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
At that moment a righteous anger flares up in us, pushing us to confront and do battle with the evil one, the prime cause of all oppression. This ‘battle’ is not a matter of ‘victory’ – being baptized we have already won – but rather a practice, like a doctor’s, where we polish our hearts until they are so filled with the uncompromising charity of Jesus Christ that we cannot help but to become reflectors, shining His Light in the world, freedom fighters, proclaimers of His Good News, restorers of vision, and rescuers of all oppressed.
And, that, my friends, is what Lectio teaches. It is no exaggeration to say that. The constant and mindful focus on the Gospels, on Jesus’ words, and most importantnly in discerning His mind and His heart in every act and teaching of his, will, over a period of time give us the solid ground from which all true pilgrimages begin. how can we go out into the world rejoicing if we do not first have a firm footing? And how will we find firm footing if we are not standing on the Rock, the Ground of our being? And how will we find this Ground if not by going to the Ground Himself?
Divine reading is more than instructional, it is formational. If we seek Jesus’ heart in every parable, especially the ones that puzzle us, He will come and meet us – after all ‘all who seek, find’. If we persist in knocking at the door it will open. Because who is it that knocks, it is Jesus Himself! And at what door? At the Door Himself!
Jesus knocks on Jesus.
Grasp this and you will be saved, as they say.