The Presentation of our Lord

Year A Readings:

  • Malachi 3:1-4
  • Psalm 84
  • Hebrews 2:14-18
  • Luke 2:22-40

What Kind of God?

The gods consume nectar and ambrosia on Olympus
and amuse themselves by looking down on us
dispassionately. Cool detachment is a sardonic business.
Hellenism insists we see things as they are.
For right thinking, the body and its desires are a barrier;
we are cautioned to keep the mind completely clear.

Hebraism counters that the body and its desires
are a barrier to right action. The Lord requires
clarity of thought chastened by strictness of conscience.
The principal rubric of the Law is studied obedience
to the will of God. The Lord has a vertical presence—
aloof except to chastise with corrective fires.

The unknown author of the book of Hebrews crystalizes
the Christology of Paul by defining a different kind
of divinity in which the pioneer of our salvation identifies
with the human condition. Jesus is wholly man
as well as divine and, thus, he thoroughly understands
what it means for us to live imperfect lives.

But there is more. It is well and good to know
the Lord has empathy, unlike the dispassionate pantheon
or the distant God of Moses. It begs the question:
what can be done about our suffering and sorrow?
The pioneer of our salvation has come to earth to show us
exactly what we need for true consolation.

February 2, 2020

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