Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday in the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time (I)
Our Anchor in Tumultuous Times

Readings: Hebrews 6:10-20; Psalm 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c; Mark 2:23-28

Perhaps it has always been this way. Still, few can deny that we live in tumultuous times. Just yesterday the papers reported that nearby Kota Tinggi was submerged under 3 meters of flood-water. And, of course, there is more to worry about than natural disasters and changing climate patterns. There are also storms of other kinds that are even more directly the result of our own folly: wars and conflicts, erratic economic trends, political instability, cultural confusion. Indeed, the world can often seem a frightfully uncertain and dangerous place.

In the midst of these very choppy waters, it’s not surprising that many should seek a firm anchor. There are those, for example, who in various ways try to find security in themselves. Some do it through immediate self-gratification. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die (see 1 Corinthians 15:33). Others through healthier psychological or even spiritual pursuits like positive thinking, exercise and meditation. Not to say that these are bad or wrong. But, in themselves, how firm an anchor do they provide?

Then, of course, there are those who try to find stability in certain external absolutes. Some seek it in ideals such as the free-market or nationalism. Others seek it in an overly literal reading of the bible or other religious texts. Yet others, like the Pharisees in today’s gospel, seek it in a moral or religious code of conduct, usually narrowly conceived and stringently enforced. Again, while the need to find a secure footing in the shifting sands of our time is understandable, we might question the firmness of these things to which many cling. We might also wonder if such a search for security doesn’t actually make things worse. Is it possible that such efforts can have detrimental effects on us, can actually damage something in us that is deeply human? Isn’t this why Jesus is quick to remind the Pharisees that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath?

For us who are Christian, there really is only one sure anchor for our soul. Our only true security in uncertain times – indeed, at all times – is in our relationship with the one who calls himself the Master of the Sabbath, the same one who though he was God emptied himself to become one like us in all things but sin. Our anchor is in Christ, who is both fully God and fully human.

If we are to persevere through the difficulties of our time, it is only by continuing to cultivate this relationship with Christ, by putting all our hope in the Lord who always keeps his covenant ever in mind.

How is this Lord inviting us to anchor our lives more firmly in him today?


  1. Hi Father, sorry but i'm a little slow here..could ya elaborate on "sabbath for man and not man for sabbath". What's the message behind this phrase?

  2. Everything is subjugate to the good of the human person?

  3. Everything is "subjugated" to Christ who is "all in all" (Colossians 3:11), fully God and fully human. Hope this helps...