Disrupt the State of Affairs Today

by | Jan 3, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus shows us his glory and mercy.  Such epiphany makes known that the time has come to disrupt things as they now are. 

Magi from the east show up in Jerusalem.  And the question they ask turns out to undermine the powers that be.  For it troubles King Herod greatly and all Jerusalem with him.  He takes it to be a sign that is meant to disrupt the status quo.

In fact, the newborn king of the Jews gets to disrupt things as they normally are ahead of the magi.  He already breaks the mold at birth.  He is not born in a palace fit for kings, but in a shelter for animals and shepherds in bad weather.  In time, the magi find him with his mother Mary in just a house.  And no servant is there to attend to him.

Still and all, the magi fall to their knees and worship the child Jesus.  They then open their treasures and give him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Were we in the place of the magi, would we do as they?  Would the plain setting not disappoint us?  Or would we think maybe that the star could no way point to the child Jesus?  And what would be the odds, in the first place, that we would not stop to search should the going get tough?  Would we be bold enough, too, to say out in the open what we know by faith to be true?  Though not a few might think we would be starting to disrupt the peace terms that those in power dictate to society?

Disrupt and turn things upside down

Jesus, of course, asks more of those whom he calls to follow him and be members of his body.  They are to disrupt society as they know it in such a way that they turn things upside down.  For them, to be little means to be great, to be poor is to be blessed, loss is gain, persecution means happiness.  Not only do they bring peace but also division; they share in the child Jesus’ being a sign of contradiction.

Hence, it bears asking further, “Would we be happy, as the apostles, to suffer jail, beatings and shame for Jesus’ name?”  And should they take us to court on the ground that we disrupt law and order since we spread Jesus’ paradoxical teachings, would the charge stick?

Lord Jesus, make your Church a bright and radiant model of poverty and simplicity, so that it may truly disrupt the order, in which hunger for wealth and power reigns.  Let us follow you to the giving up of our bodies and the shedding of our blood, so that we, too, may live and die in the service of the poor and so be happy (SV.EN III:384).  Lead us “by another way”.

January 8, 2023
Epiphany of the Lord
Is 60, 1-6; Eph 3, 2-3a. 5-6; Mt 2, 1-12