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[3/22] Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

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작성자 미카엘 수사 작성일18-03-21 19:59 조회56회 댓글0건

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<Gn17:3-9 / Jn8:51-59>


Do you know me? Since you know my name and the congregation I belong to, you may say that you know me. But in another sense you don't really know who I am. You know me but at the same time you don't know me. it sounds a little strange, but it is true.


Knowing something or somebody, in fact, has three different meanings according to how deeply I know the other. First one is the level of recognition. For example, when we recognize a certain person specially by the face, we can say that I know the person. This knowing actually means recognition. The second level of knowing is knowing about the person. In this case we usually focus on the information about the person such as name, height, profession, hometown, etc. Third one, finally, is knowing as making a relationship. As we get to know somebody more and more we just know how the person feel in a certain situation, or what kind of decisions the person would make at important moments. This level of knowing can be obtained only by spending enough time with the person. That's why, in the Bible, this kind of knowing is often understood as intimacy or even love.


To know somebody in a deep level is beautiful indeed. However we also know that such intimate relationship cannot be achieved for nothing: we need to be patient in many cases and also to endure pain to get to know each other. You know what a hedgehog is. People sometimes compare loving each other to hugging or embracement of two hedgehogs. When they want to get closer they should bear the pain from the spines of the other. And the same thing happens even in our relationship. That's why we make covenant or vow just as God and Abraham made it in today's first reading.


When people get married they take marriage vows, through which they promise that they will try not to give up knowing and loving each other in spite of any possible trials, trouble, pain and crisis. Likewise we, the religious, also make vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, through which we promise to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in order to know him and love him. These vows protect us from going astray during the journey of knowing and loving each other. So the vows or covenant has nothing to do with restriction, bridles or something. It actually helps us to continue in any circumstance what we've already decided to do in the beginning.


In today's gospel Jesus says that he knows God while the Jews don't. There's no doubt that Jesus knows God much more deeply than anyone else. His knowing is surely knowing as a deep relationship even to become one in Trinity. And we all are invited to participate in the unity by knowing and loving God and neighbors in spite of any possible trials, trouble, pain and crisis. That, in fact, is the purpose of our life and also our mission.


Today's gospel, I think, invites us to think of how much I know God. Do I know him just on the level of recognition? Or do I try to know only the information about God? If so, our knowledge of God is only superficial without deep relationship with Him. So we need to open our hearts, to spend enough time with Him and to share all our joy and sorrow to deepen our love and friendship. Christian faith, in fact, is all about making a relationship, which is communion. So let's try not to go astray by reminding ourselves of the vows we made. That will help us to fulfill the vocation we decided to live out, and most of all, God, who made the covenant with Abraham and has always been faithful to the promise, will help us and guide us to accomplish our mission.


Let us ask God's grace so that we may truly know Him and love Him.

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