The Christian tradition has for a long time, associated the four evangelists (Gospel writers) with the four living creatures that surround God’s throne as described in the book of Revelation.
Rev 4:7, “The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf (ox), the third had a face like that of a human being and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight…”
These associations are made as follows:
>> Matthew – Human being/Angel;
>> Mark – Lion;
>> Luke – Ox (Calf);
>> John – Eagle.
The Gospel of the Day is a passage from the Gospel of St Mark.
>> And today the Lion, associated with Mark’s Gospel is set to “roar”!
Yes, Jesus, the Marcan Lion is out to “roar” in the Synagogue!!
It’s another Sabbath day…
>> And Jesus is in the synagogue where there is a man who has a withered hand.
St Mark is particular to mention that the Pharisees were watching him keenly, to observe what Jesus, the healer would do (Mk 3:2)
They did not look, to praise God…they observed in order to pinpoint faults!
>> They did not seek, to glorify God’s name…they scrutinized in order to defame the Lord!
What a pity when religious leaders become only harsh law-enforcing personnel and fail to administer compassion and love!
>> What a pity when protectors of the law become too rigid and stubborn to keep the rules that they become perpetuators of a perpetual hypocrisy!
As the Pharisees keep watching what He is going to do, Jesus throws the ball in their court.
The Lord knows the secrets of human hearts!
>> The Lord gauges the depths of human hypocrisy!
And so Jesus, the Marcan Lion roars and asks, ” Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” ( Mk 3:4)
A basic and a fundamental question was staring on the faces of the Pharisees…
They were people…
… who were staunch to uphold the laws and the rules.
… who would strive to maintain faithfulness to the minutest regulations
… who would raise their voice at any violation of God’s commandments.
Was it love that drove them to do God’s commandments?
>> Was it pure motives that made them to be zealous for God’s law?
>> Was it a striving for God’s glory that impelled them to be strict keepers of the rules?
Here was a moment for them to express their intention behind all these things…
>> Here was a chance to tell the world what was their aim in doing all the obligations…
“But they remained silent” (Mk 3:4b)
What an anti-climax it turned out to be!
>> They gave the worst possible reply to the life-convicting question: Silence!
It was a deafening silence that was brutally wounding and viciously hurting!
>> It was a booming silence of their cruel disapproval of Jesus’ healing ministry!
>> It was a crashing silence exposing their wickedness of heart and duplicity of minds!
And so Jesus, the Lion roars…
>> “Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of hearts…” (Mk 3:5)
The inhuman silence of the Pharisees provokes Jesus, the Lion to anger!
>> The hypocritical hush of the Pharisees instigates Jesus, the Lion to fury!
>> The dreadful stillness of the Pharisees wounds Jesus, the Lion to grief!
How many of us are similar to this attitude of the Pharisees….?!
We see people withered in misery and abjection…
>> And we assume a dignified silence of inaction and apathy!
We see others withered in sinful situations and evil circumstances…
>> And we take refuge in a silence of not doing anything to help them, come out of this condition!
We see families, societies and communities withering in disunity and discord…
>> And we maintain a “clean-image” of silence, instead of doing the unpleasant task of unifying!
We see ourselves withered in corrupt inclinations and errant behaviour…
>> And we uphold a silence of indifference and lethargy and avoid reformation and renewal!
But the Lord, the great Lion, roars in all such “unfair and debasing” moments of silence!
It angers Him…
>> It grieves Him…
>> It provokes Him…
>> It pains Him…
This same Jesus, who is the Lion of Judah, who “roars” fiercely, is also the Gentle Lamb who sacrificed His life for our transformation, renewal and reformation!
The Lion of Judah is “roaring” for a positive and active response from us….
… for a change in our attitude and mentality!
… for a radical transformation in our misery of indifference!
Let the “roar” of Jesus, the Lion instil in us the urgency to take necessary actions in our life.
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Let us be firm in our intentions, unwavering in our decisions.
>> Our very perseverance will prove that in good earnest desire, we have sacrificed ourselves to God and committed ourselves to the devout life!”