The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

6th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Tue, 02/17/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

If you go to a certain hot spring in China, in the middle of winter,
you will observe a somewhat bizarre spectacle:
snow monkeys….spending a great deal of time in the hot waters.
The outside temperature is below freezing.
The monkeys sit in the water up to their necks to keep warm.
 
This spectacle is rather recent.  In times past, people were using the hot spring…
but the monkeys have taken over.
The story goes…that not long ago one particular monkey
saw humans sitting in the hot springs….
This monkey made the association between the hot springs and keeping warm…
eventually got in the water.  Other monkeys soon followed suit.
 
What’s the old saying?  Monkey see, monkey do.
Animals, as well as human beings, learn through observation.
We tend to repeat behavior we’ve seen in others.
 
Jesus is aware of this when he cautions his disciples.
People were trying to make sense out of this small-town Jewish carpenter
who seems to have wisdom beyond his years
and has the capacity to do not only the unusual…but the miraculous.
Different people were coming to different conclusions.
 
Jesus warns his disciples:  you will not learn about me by observing the behavior of the Pharisees or the behavior of Herod.
If you want to learn about me….observe me….keep your eyes and thoughts on me.
And don’t be misled by the spectacular…I’m not here to impress people.
 
Today, we are given the same warning: 
if we don’t want to come to incorrect or erroneous conclusions about Christ,
then we need to observe Christ not as a man with supernatural powers
but as the Incarnation, the manifestation of God in human history.
And if we observe him closely, we will see:  he was about changing the human heart,
he was about satisfying spiritual hunger, not physical hunger.
And if he could provide an abundance physical bread, just imagine the possibilities
when it comes to spiritual nourishment and spiritual life.
 
The truth is….as human beings we learn a great deal through observation.
But what we observe needs to be filtered through wisdom and grace.
We need to be prudent in our discernment, selective, even cautious.
If we look for Christ in the spectacular, we’ll probably be disappointed if not misled.
The whole of Jesus’ life needs to be interpreted through his crucifixion, his sacrifice.
The bread Jesus provides for humanity is salvation.
 
If we want to grow in our understanding of who Jesus is
we must never take our eyes off the cross.