For a full copy of the newsletter, please click on the link: Ordinary Time 4th Week 280118
In one of Aesop’s fables, an old Mother Crab says to her son, “Why do you walk sidewise like that my son? You ought to walk straight.” The little crab responds by asking, “Show me how, dear Mother, and I’ll follow your example.” Though the Mother Crab tried in vain to walk straight, she could only move sideways. She quickly saw how unreasonable her advice was to her son. The moral of the fable is obvious, it is easier to tell than to do, and an example is more authoritative than is a lesson.
Once again this week we hear from Mark’s Gospel and we are told that Jesus taught with authority. He advanced his ministry by being the Master Teacher. Jesus communicated truth in simple, but powerful words, pictures and parables; he reinforced his teachings by using his miraculous power to heal and do good. Intertwined throughout, he lived an exemplary life responding to lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, those excluded and on the fringe of society and also his closest friends with the same consistent love and righteousness.
Jesus’ teaching authority did not come from utilising the latest teaching techniques, nor by practicing recommended communication skills. His authority came from within, from whom he was, Emmanuel, God with us. His authority came from the truth he taught – the very Truth of God. He lived and shared truth that transcended mere human wisdom, no matter how insightful our earthly wisdom may be. Moses and all the other prophets were able to share in this authority when they allowed God’s Truth to flow through them.
Like the old Mother Crab mentioned by Aesop in his fable, we spend a lifetime teaching character and values of one kind or another. We do this not primarily by what we say, but most certainly by what we do and how we live.
Today, as you read this front page of our Parish newsletter, have you considered what an awesome responsibility is then laid at our feet to communicate Truth by our lives? Jesus is attempting to authoritatively communicate to those around us the Truth and Love of God, and He has chosen you to be his simple, but powerful example.
Every member of our Cathedral family has been chosen to be God’s living parable, and invited to be a living icon of Jesus Christ. No one is excluded from this invitation. Our lives, actions, choices and sacrifices bring authority to the Church’s message of Jesus and his Kingdom.
Fr Peter Brannelly