Sports lovers enjoy hat-tricks!
A hat-trick in sports is the achieving of a positive feat three times in a row during a game, or other achievements based on ‘threes’ in some sports.
This term ‘hat-trick’, it seems, first appeared in 1858 in cricket, to describe a bowler HH Stephenson, taking three wickets with three consecutive deliveries.
>> The fans held a collection for Stephenson, and presented him with a ‘hat’ bought with the proceeds.
The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, association football, water polo, team handball etc.
Hat-trick requires an exceptional performance and therefore is quite rare.
Well, how about a double hat-trick?
A double hat-trick would be too exceptional, isn’t it?
And would be much rarer…right?
Well, the Gospel of the Day presents Jesus, the Champion Player, in the field of wits and wisdom, after having earned an exceptional double hat-trick!
What is the double hat-trick in the case of Jesus, the Champion Player?
It is the dismissal and silencing of six groups of people… in their human cunningness…and letting the light of God’s Wisdom to emerge triumphant!
The three passages that precede the Gospel passage of the Day present 6 groups of people…
1. The Chief Priests 2. The Scribes 3. The Elders
“As Jesus was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes and the elders approached Him, and said….” (Mk 11:27)
4. The Pharisees 5. The Herodians
“They sent some Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech” (Mk 12:13)
6. The Sadducees
“Some Sadducees who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus….” (Mk 12: 18)
Jesus, as the Champion Player…
… dismisses all the 6 of them, in their wicked plans to humiliate Him
… silences all the 6 of them, in their dishonest tactics to put Truth to the test
All the 6 groups go back… in defeat… faced with a challenge to examine themselves and their thought-patterns!
A double hat-trick has been achieved by the Champion Lord!
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus putting forward the formula for success in the game of spiritual life – LOVE!
The passage begins with a member of the scribe, after having seen the stupendous performance of the Lord, approaching Him with a question, “Which is the greatest of all commandments?”
To this question the Lord answers the formula for success in the game of spiritual life:
“The Lord our God, is Lord alone. Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk 12:29- 30) and
“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mk 12: 31)
· When one’s life is truly centred on love for God, one also begins to express this love to one’s neighbours in sure and certain acts of love
· When one’s life is drawn into real service for humankind, one slowly but surely has to realise that the source of these charitable deeds is God and thereby one is to draw closer to the Lord.
Our life needs to be constantly checked to see if we are living under the banner of these two fundamental commands of Christian life – Love of God and Love of neighbour!
· Does my whole being realise the need to fully love its Creator and constantly nurture relationship with Him?
· Does my whole being realise that the other is also a person, created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore deserving of my care, attention and appreciation?
· Is my life reflecting the Divine or do I cast a shadow on God’s graces by a life of sin or persistent evil inclinations or possessive bad habits?
· Is my life mirroring a love for the other or do I strain relationships by my selfish desires, egoistic attitudes and uncharitable actions?
The 6 groups of people that had approached the Lord to test, to interrogate and to trap had failed to display this fundamental formula of life – Love!
· They displayed arrogance…
· They showed jealousy…
· They characterised hatred…
But none of it, could stand before Jesus, the Lord of Love!
Jesus, the Champion Lord today invites and exhorts each of us to be more and more energized with the power of Love, so as to emerge victoriously in this game of life!
God Bless! Live Jesus!