Friday, February 13, 2009

Step Out

A few months ago, we had a seminar on Eastern Spirituality. During the informal discussion, one of the participants made a comment about young people turning away from God and leaning towards worldly pleasures. Responding to this comment another participant made this observation that perhaps these young people are searching for truth and happiness in their lives and in the process they may be making mistakes. This does not necessarily mean that they are turning away from God. He is right. Life is a learning process. Each one of us seeks for the truth and real happiness in life without knowing that we can only discover it with God.

In the Gospel, there is a story about a real seeker, the “Samaritan Woman”, (John 4. 7-43). The Samaritan Woman was searching for God, and during the process, she came upon Jesus. The Bible says that, she was a “woman with five husbands”. According to many scholars, the word “husband” in this particular context symbolizes ‘religion’. The ‘Samaritan Woman’ was an earnest seeker. She was searching for God and in the process she moved from one religion to another until she found Jesus.

As soon as she discovered Jesus, her search was complete. She immediately embraced him and began her mission. She went back to the town and told the people there, “Come and see the man who told me everything that I have done”. This action was a clear proof for her possession of the Truth.

Christian life is a journey towards Jesus. It is a process. The story of the “Three Wise Men” (Matthew 2. 1-12) will help us to understand this process. These men went through three stages before they found Jesus in their lives.
● “they looked out”
● “they stepped out”
● “they reached out”

The Three Wise Men “looked out”.
We do not possess the full reality. The entire universe together constitutes the full reality. Hence, to see this reality, we need to “look out”. All things in this world are symbols that point to the truth. These wise men were kings, they were self sufficient in many ways but they had the humility to explore different possibilities. They “looked out” and they saw the “star”, the symbol of a greater reality. A person who thinks that he knows everything, his values as absolute and he does not need help from anyone will not see that star of growth.

The Three Wise Men “stepped out”
It is not enough to simply see the reality. We need to have the courage to step out from our own little ‘palace of security and world of illusion’ to see the truth and embrace it. The three wise men took the risk. They stepped out of the palace and made the dangerous trip.

Very often we travel the wrong path, our values and beliefs are not authentic. But we are not ready to change because we don’t want to take the risk. Success belongs to the Brave.

The Three Wise Men “reached out”
Thanks to their willingness to step out of themselves, these three wise men finally reached Jesus, the truth, the way and the Life. They returned home ‘by another way’.

“Herod” on the other hand, thought he was everything and had seen everything. He thinks of himself as the center of reality. He stepped in to his own world. He was afraid of facing the realities. He “looked in”, “stepped in”, and “stuck in”.

Let us continue our search for truth with an open mind and reach the fullness of Truth.

Fr. Sebastian Vettickal, CMI

1 comment:

  1. Dear Fr. Sebastian,
    I thought I posted a comment on the reflection of the Samaritan Woman yesterday
    but for some reason it did not go through.
    Maybe that was a good thing. You see I
    just could not understand how the scholors
    took husband to mean religion. I have never
    heard a homily or reflection on it before.
    So it just had to mean that she was living
    an immoral life and Jesus called her on it.
    But I could not get it out of my head there
    had to be something to it. So I searched and
    searched the web and finally found it. In
    WOMEN IN THE BIBLE there it was - her five husband stood for the five alien tribes and the man she was living with was not her true
    husband, stood for the Samaritan religion.
    I guess learning is a process and searching
    is a good thing.
    Thanks for thought provoking topic. Waiting
    for the coming one.
    Mary Ann