Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday of the Third Week in Lent

II Kings 5:1-15ab; Luke 4:24-30)

A number of years ago people played “Catholic Trivia.” Those with eight, twelve, or even sixteen years of Catholic education excelled in the game. They were capable of rattling off the gifts of the Holy Spirit or giving the numbers for the various kinds of books in the Bible. But were they any closer to salvation than others?

Although it is fair to say that we hope so, it is only wise to admit that some with this sort of familiarity with things religious may be far from God. Jesus is making a similar point in the gospel today. His townspeople think that they know him because they remember his manners as a boy. But their very closeness to him, as if they stood at his back, impedes them from recognizing him as Lord.

Theologians make the distinction between knowing about God and knowing God. The first kind of knowledge may be interesting and even helpful, but it is the second kind that brings us to life’s goal. We know God not primarily by taking trips to the Holy Land or memorizing the Catechism. No, first and foremost, we know Him by following His way of love.