Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
"The wicked said among themselves,
Thinking not aright:
‘Let us beset the just one’…"
It’s always been amazing to me how perfectly sensible our own crazy thinking can seem to us! I say this, of course, from personal experience, from those times (which, undoubtedly, will be repeated) when I was so sure that the way I saw the world or another person or their actions was truly accurate.
But the first reading and the Gospel, of course, hit the nail on the head. So much of human folly at the least and human brutality at the worst come from "not thinking aright": from actively believing that our flawed human perception, formed often by fear and anger, is somehow truer than God’s infinite and loving wisdom. We’ve even been willing to kill to prove it so.
One of the hardest things for me about being on what I call the "hamster wheel" of my own thinking is that while I’m on that wheel, all I can do is look with the same vision at the same vista and keep running. It’s usually fear that keeps me "on the wheel"; stubbornness and hurt feelings are right up there, too.
The reality is that "thinking not aright" snuffs out life. It killed Christ and it deadens our hearts today. Logic has its rightful place, of course, but God’s logic transcends our own. In the end, who really wants to be one of the blind mob who "knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward."?
Just reading those words makes me feel hopeful and forgiven, makes me feel like it’s better to embrace Mystery than to exalt my own judgment.
And please, tomorrow, when I’ve forgotten that I said this, remind me.
Nancy Nickel is director of communications at the Passionist Development Office in Chicago, Illinois.