Questions raised

By | August 18, 2010

Jesus has an interesting way in dealing with questions. When asked — “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” — he does not give a direct answer. Rather, he uses the questions and the occasion to teach us what we know regarding the question of

mornp

Bishop Robert Morneau

salvation.

Another question is raised in the book of Hebrews, though not directly asked of Jesus. It reads: “For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline?” Although this appears to be a rhetorical question, Jesus might answer in this fashion: “My Father’s love is so great that it does not exclude reproving wrongdoing if that is necessary. It is a tough love here and one that is necessary. In the end, the pain will lead to joy, a joy beyond measure.”

The Gospel message of divine love is not romantic. It is as tough as nails; it is as substantive as meat and potatoes (and sauerkraut). Parents who refuse to discipline their children do them a great disservice. By not correcting faults and sins, children (and adults) are on a dead end road where there is no exit. As difficult as it is to reprimand, the end result is worth the stress.

If Isaiah and Jesus were to sit at table questions of ultimate importance would eventually be raised: “Is salvation universal or particular? Is salvation limited to but one nation and people?” Isaiah has the answer, an answer surely Jesus would have given had they had lunch together. Speaking for God, Isaiah would proclaim that God came to gather nations of every language. Every language! All people of all nations are called to sit at the banquet of the kingdom of God. No one is exempt from that call. As to how many respond, that is another question for another day.

Just as our public worship (liturgy) is a site for questions to Jesus, so too in our private prayer can we bring our questions before the Lord. If you don’t have any formulated, you might take this passage from the Vatican II document: Declaration on Non-Christian Religions: “The problems that weigh on the hearts of men are the same today as in the ages past. What is man? What is the meaning and purpose of life? What is upright behavior, and what is sinful? Where does suffering originate, and what purpose does it serve? How can genuine happiness be found? What happens at death? What is judgment? What reward follows death? And, finally, what is the ultimate mystery, beyond human explanation, which embraces our entire existence, from which we take our origin and toward which we tend?” (#1)

Questions for reflection

1. What personal questions would you ask of Jesus?

2. Will many or few be saved? Why?

3. Where do you go to have your questions answered?

 

Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top