Thursday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 374

Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

There can be no more terrifying words in the scriptures than these, "I never knew you."

Greek philosophy brought to Christian theology an idea of the human being, that there is a substance known as human. It was called soul. However, other than being immortal, that substance had little to claim for itself.

In the Odyssey, when Odysseus visits Hades, he finds his old friend Achilles among the many dead warriors. Achilles remembers Odysseus, barely. His memories are fading; he will soon be like all the other souls with their useless immortal nature. They're like bats hanging on the ceiling of their caves, mindless and unaware for all eternity.

Jesus invites the Christian to escape the death of the individual soul and enter into the communion of his body, becoming a person in relation to other persons. A name will be given to that person in baptism. One cannot be known without a name.

At the end time we pray the Lord remembers our names. You remember that, at the cost of his life, Jesus went down to the graveyard and called, "Lazarus, come out." In that moment, the dead man remembered his name and that voice, the voice of a friend. He came stumbling out of the grave, back to life, back to communion.

Neither Greek nor American philosophy assures us of eternal life. That belongs to the Word of God.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.