Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(I Corinthians 9:16-19; Luke 6:39-42)
Alexander Pope was an English, Catholic poet of the eighteenth century. The lines of his poetry usually form rhyming couplets that are easy to remember. Perhaps his most famous lines relate to today’s gospel. Pope writes:
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
Disciples, Jesus says, must learn well or they will be blind guides who lead their followers to ruin. He is insisting that they must listen carefully to what he teaches. They can ask questions. But the purpose of their questioning should be to understand and not to refute.
We must do so as well. We live in a time of, what philosophers call, “deconstructionism.” People, finding problems in the way thing are, want to tear down working structures. Even Christianity is found hopelessly wanting. That is like putting a log in your eye. We should critique society with the gospel in hand. But we must keep in mind that the gospel has been interpreted in various ways at different junctures of history. We must endeavor to seek its truth and apply it to our times. The gospel puts us in touch with our friend and Lord. He is like a compass that keeps us on course in an often-tempestuous world.