Pondering for Thursday, May 21, 2020

Eucharistic Readings for Ascension Day 2020, RCL: Year A

Acts 1:1-11   Psalm 47  or Psalm 93  Ephesians 1:15-23  Luke 24:44-53

“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)

This “opening of their minds” is the action of the Resurrected Jesus.  Jesus spent a lot of time with his followers before he was crucified, preaching and teaching about the scriptures and how the scriptures foretold of his destiny. You can see much of this in chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel where he says several times, “You have heard that it was said, …. But I tell you…..”  In this way our Lord Jesus re-interprets the Law.

But now, Jesus goes beyond explanation to revelation. He “opens their minds.”  We have words written in the Bible that have been translated from Aramaic, to Greek, from Greek to Latin, and then for us, from Latin to English. Even this last translation is from old English to modern and American English.  Has anything been lost or misrepresented in this human work? 

How wonderful it would be for us today for Jesus to “open our minds” so that we too can have a better understanding of the scriptures.  I think when we believe that our purpose is to love God and love one another to the best of our ability we will indeed understand all the Law and the writings of the Bible.  And, what we come to understand may even be better than what our old recorders wrote.

I remember readings somewhere in a Jewish fable that someone asked an old teacher of the Torah to explain the Torah while standing on one foot.  The response was, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others.”  That is the whole Torah. It is another way of saying the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do onto you.”

The only other piece I would like to add about opening our minds is the opening of our hearts. Sometimes the words (heart and mind) are interchangeable. Sometimes they are not.  The heart piece adds in the love component.  Psychologist within the last hundred years have found that the children of loving parents who hugged their children and spent time with them showed higher intellectual ability than the children of distancing parents.  Love matters. Bless those psychologists.  But then, bless our Lord Jesus who told us this over 2000 years ago.  Thank You Lord Jesus.

 Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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