Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
One of my Jesuit mentors says a good teacher is someone who leads us to ask the important questions. The real mystery of teaching is students can also “teach” teachers. A wise professor should know that out there in the classroom, there is always someone brighter than he or she is. This semester, I have the privilege of teaching a bright young lady who enables me to reflect again and again on the materials that she usually sees only once. I have learned much from her this semester.
Jesus is indeed a good teacher because he leads his disciples to ask an important question, “what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” The disciples teach Jesus to reflect on the signs of time, “when nation will rise against nation and…awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Each of us might have a good “teacher” who teaches us about faith, especially our faith on the birth, life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us pause and remember our “teachers” and express our gratitude for what they have taught us.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.