A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sarcasm, poetry, and God

Sometimes God speaks in thundery pronouncements.

Sometimes God speaks in poetic beauty.

And sometimes God speaks in sarcasm.

In today's readings, God speaks in all three at once - thunder, poetry, and sarcasm - most dramatically in the first reading (Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5):

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind…

"Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?

"You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!"

So too our Lord Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel

And as for you, Capernaum,
'Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.'

Whoever listens to you
listens to me.

Whoever rejects you
rejects me.

And whoever rejects me
rejects the one who sent me.

For many of us, the idea of God speaking with sarcasm is jarring, but that is appropriate, for sarcasm is not meant to be pleasant: it is meant to cut through to the truth.

Unlike the sarcasm of man, however, which cuts for often negative purposes, the sarcasm of God is directed at breaking through the things which block us from growing in the truth.

We need to let the word of God speak to us fully and completely. We need let ourselves be awed by its thunder, lifted by its beauty, cut by its sarcasm, and freed by its truth.