Wednesday, December 28

Don't be a rock if you want some bread

I'll have the loaves and fishes, please.
My dear friend Bill was talking about 'pro multis' and the new mass and I commented about 'false ecumencism'.  I replied that John 3 shows that there is nothing false about the universality of Christ's message, which is summed up in John 3:15-17. This comment, specifically regarding πᾶς versus πολλοί (all vs. many), led to a re-reading of Matthew 7 and, through that, a realisation that I should talk about something which I have believed for some time but  I may have not fully articulated, if actually addressed at all.

In John 3, Christ tells Nicodemus that all (πᾶς) who believe in the Son of Man will have life eternal.
In Matthew, Christ tells the crowds at the sermon on the mount that all (πᾶς) who ask, receive.  This resonates with the healing miracles which Christ does.  In every instance, there is an overt act of faith in Christ and his divinity which results in the miracle.Whether it is touching the hem of his garment, washing in Bethesda or as simple as a cripple who tries to stand when he is told to, they are concrete actions which demonstrate the people's trust and belief.

This all ties back into the Mat. 7 reading:

πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται. ἢ τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος, ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἄρτον μὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ; ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει μὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;  For all who ask receive, and all who seek find, and all who knock, it will be opened. Which among you, mankind, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?

Two things stand out here.  The first is that God will always give good fruits to his children who ask. The second part is that we have to ask.  To have the eternal life spoken of to Nicodemus, we must believe.  This is neither unilaterally dispensed nor irresistibly thrust down our throats, but rather something we must seek, we must ask for, we must want.  Lip-service won't do and being a lump waiting for Divine salvation doesn't cut it either.  We have to be active participants in the process.

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