IMPEDING THE FLOW

slave forgive   

… the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” (Matthew 18.27-28)

        JESUS WAS/IS NOT a teacher of morality, offering a code of conduct that, if adhered to step by step, leads to righteousness. Jesus is a teacher of wisdom (Greek σοφία sophia; Hebrew חָכְמָה chochmah). The aim of Jesus’ wisdom teaching is to unblock in us and in the world that which impedes the flow of God’s grace.

Through God’s grace, WHAT IS is. According to the prologue of John’s Gospel, Christ is himself the eternal word/logos/being through which all being came, comes and will come. But for God’s grace to be God’s grace, free will is a given. Absolute love might conceivably be poured out from the centre of the cosmos and travel through all space and time, all being and every being, unimpeded. At least, per human logic it might. However, the receiving of such unimpeded flow would, without free will, be wholly passive and thus rendered unconscious, soul-less even. Without free will (and with it the seemingly boundless capacity to use it destructively!) ‘human being’ would be better described ‘android being’.

OK, this might be getting complicated and there’s only a little space left. Look. Jesus’ story this morning, the slaves and forgiveness of debts, is about the divine flow of God’s unconditional love. The first slave seems to have repented and his master has forgiven him. Forgiveness has unblocked the divine flow for the slave because the debt has been eased and made possible to remove. THAT DOESN’T MEAN HE CAN JUST GO AND DO WHAT HE WANTS NOW! But it does mean the block has gone and he can stand once more in the full flow of God’s grace. However, the slave has learned nothing. No wisdom has replaced that which was impeding his life (sin and debt have their roots here), and straight away he grabs his own debtor by the throat!

The slave has thrown back into the flow a giant rock in the place of the earlier impediment. The flow is blocked. The slave has disrespected his new-found freedom and handed himself over ‘to be tortured.’

 

 

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~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on September 21, 2017.

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