Friday, September 23, 2011

Intoxication of knowledge

Deliver us God, from the intoxication of knowledge for we know even at the peak of great learning, there is room for us to die to what we have learned and be open to a much greater knowledge. Yet, oh God, greatest of our knowledge remains a tiny little drop in the ocean of thy omniscience.

The Holy Scriptures lead us into the hidden mysteries of God. Yet not all who diligently study them are lead into the fullness of Truth. It is because the written word [scriptures] does not exhaust the reality of the Word of God [Christ].

John in his gospel quotes Jesus saying "You search the scriptures, thinking that in them you will find life; yet scripture bears witness to me. Yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life" [5:39-40]

We must approach the scriptures in the light of the same experience of those who witnessed Jesus one-to-one [Body, blood, soul and divinity]. In his first epistle, John narrates his experience“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life” [1:1]. For the disciples and apostles, the person of Jesus was their “primary experience". It was through Jesus, the scriptures of the Old Testament came alive to them. This "primary Jesus experience" shared in the church [community of believers] mingled with their own, was the backdrop from which the gospels and epistles came to be written. The Christians from the early days learned and understood the scriptures [of the old and new] in the light of this experience handed down to them by the disciples and apostles.

May our unhindered openness to the whole reality of Christ [as the Second Person in the Trinity, Alpha and Omega] and the experience shared by His apostles down to the present generation [tradition] lead us into a fuller knowledge of the Truth as we meditate of the scriptures.

One who advances in the knowledge of God must not reduce himself to a scripture scholar or a theologian but a wholesome person. He would have a rightful place for everything God has created, yet animated by the magnanimity of God -human relationship. Furthermore, at a much personal level, his inner self relishes a rare intimacy with God. The love of God, His ever presence and His dominion, invigorate every created thing on earth, the earth itself and everything outside of it. Yet they are only a background to the masterpiece of God which is the human being.

Knowledge [of God] makes us realize our fragility and shortcomings. It propels us to trust in the mercy of God more than ever. If knowledge leads us to self sufficiency and pride, it truncates further growth and leads us to erroneously interpret, teach and apply it in course of daily life.

Unwavering faith and an ardent fixation of our gaze upon Jesus above all is the key to learning. We are taught by his Holy Spirit. Books and other teachings become a tool His hands to instruct us. And when we progress in learning, the very things we have been doing as kids to this age [Eucharistic celebration, reception of sacraments, liturgy, prayers and devotions etc] come alive with a tinge of wonder. We, in great gratitude realize how fortunate we are, that the same apostolic traditions and Jesus experience are shared with the same passion as was in the beginning, among us even unto this day. We not only get to learn the elaborate menu [scriptures] but are already at the table, savoring every crumb of this lavish meal, our Lord prepares for us [His body and Blood] as often as we need it. We experience the wedding supper of the Lamb here on earth as in the heavens. It's heaven on earth. Let thy Eucharist intoxicate us.

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." [Revelations 19: 9]

For Yahweh loves his people, he will crown the humble with salvation. [Psalm 149: 4]