“All that glitters is not gold” is a popular expression…
It means that not everything that is shiny and superficially attractive is valuable.
>> It means that though something “appears” to be spectacular, it need not be so.
The Gospel of the Day presents this theme of “external show not always a sign of internal glow”.
The passage begins with the statement of Jesus crossing over…
“And when they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret…( Mk 6:53)
This place – Gennesaret – is an interesting place.
The meaning of this place name ” Gennesaret” is a “Garden of a Prince” or the “Garden of riches”
This was a fertile crescent-shaped plain on the western shore of the lake of Galilee.
>> This plain of Gennesaret has been also called, because of its fertility and beauty, as “the Paradise of Galilee.”
The history of Gennesaret is glowingly described (especially by Josephus, the Historian) that would do make proud the local tourism office of the Gennesaret Chamber of‘ Commerce!
It is said of Gennesaret, that the “soil was so fruitful that all sorts of trees could grow upon it. The walnut, the palm, the olive and the fig, which usually require diverse conditions, flourished together here.”
>> “One may call this place the ambition of nature; it is a happy contention of the seasons, as if each of them claimed this country; for it not only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruit beyond men’s expectation, but preserves them a great while.”
The fruits of Gennesaret had such high repute among the rabbis…
… that they were not allowed in Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, lest any might be tempted to come merely for their enjoyment!
Yet, with all these riches and glory, Gennesaret, had its own share of the sick and the suffering!
However fertile the land, there were still many who were badly ailing!
>> However fruitful the land, there were still many who were painfully ill!
The choicest of food couldn’t assure them perfection in health and life!
>> The choicest of fruits couldn’t guarantee them flawlessness in wellbeing and strength!
… All that Glitters is not gold
Indeed, never judge a book by its cover
>> Indeed, the cowl (large hood) does not make the monk!
Though the people of Gennesaret enjoyed the best of nature’s gifts, they were “people in need” and “people ailing in suffering and sicknesses”
And so we find, that as soon as Jesus reached their land, the people of Gennesaret “scurried about the surrounding and country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard He was” (Mk 6:55)
They had their riches…
… yet need to reach out to Jesus, the richest of all treasures!
They had their resources…
… yet they ran in order to seek Jesus, the source of all supplies!
Our own lives may sometimes represent the Land of Gennesaret…
>> Rich in many aspects – financially, talent wise, relationally etc
>> Fertile in many aspects – having great plans for future, systematic, disciplined etc
>> Fruitful in many aspects – popular, acceptable, having name and fame etc
Yet, like the people of Gennesaret, we too may be lacking some of the essentials…
… lacking good health and in need of the healing touch of the Lord
… lacking peace of mind, and in need of the serene spirit of the Lord
… lacking satisfaction in life, and in need of wholeness from the Lord
The people of Gennesaret were quick to respond to the coming of the Lord.
>> Though their land had plenty, they did not fail to humble themselves…
>> Though their land was rich, they did not fail to realize their basic needs..
>> Though their land was famous, they did not fail to assume lowliness…
Am I willing to respond thus to the Lord… in sincerity, in openness, in docility?
>> Am I willing to bend myself to the Lord…in humility, in meekness, in submissiveness?
Let us make our life a true “Gennesaret”…
… a Garden of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Joy and salvation!
… a Garden of Riches of holiness, sanctity and grace!
Today we celebrate the feast of St Agatha, a brave girl who suffered martyrdom in the 3rd century Roman persecution.
>> This fragile girl was able to challenge the domination of the might Roman Empire, only because, she made her little heart, “a Rich Garden of Virtues” and Jesus could reign there as King!
May our lives too, truly reflect such a ‘Paradise of God’s Reign’!
May our lives be beautified not just with an external show, but more rather, with an internal glow!
God Bless! Live Jesus!