Daily Reflection
June 7th, 2006

Roc O'Connor, S.J.

Campus Ministry and the Theology Department
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2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
Psalm 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef
Mark 12:18-27

I remember religion classes in high school as a curious mixture of crowd control, serious inquiry, some actual teaching and learning, and adolescent obfuscation. I was way too insecure to ask serious questions then, but I recall two basic approaches from my classmates.

First off, a guy would really want to know and understand some bit of history or theology or scripture: “What does this really mean?”

Second, one or other of the guys in my class would have an arsenal of questions meant to take up time so that we didn’t get to the main material that none of us were prepared to deal with. These questions were basically of the type, “How far can I go…?” You get the picture. Year after year, this sort of question hooked our teachers and drew them off the main point. We successfully avoided being challenged at any depth.

It seems to me that the Sadducees ask an amalgamation of the two. I’m sure for some of them resurrection of the body was a burning question. But for others, I would guess, it was simply a way to try to distract Jesus from saying something to their heart.

“Yo, Jesus, let’s talk about this thing over here! Hey, look at this! Don’t talk directly to me! Don’t see me for who I am!”

Let me suggest that, in the aftermath of “The Da Vinci Code,” the Church does need to entertain lots of significant questions and re-catechize adult Catholics as adults. Not all questions have been significant. Not all answers have been discerning.

Jesus listened to the Sadducees, even those who were blowing smoke. He spoke directly to the heart of their question masterfully. May the Spirit grant us the wisdom to do just that. May we discern and speak to the heart of all who inquire, even to those with less than perfect motives.

I’d suggest this, finally. Go back to the first reading of today’s liturgy. Perhaps St. Paul might speak to your heart about the essentials as a mentor speaks to someone who truly wants to learn about the fundamentals.

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