On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Answering the question about just what my concept of God might be can seem like a tough industrial strength question. Maybe it’s a question that I might wish to default to the trained theologian, or to some really much more spiritual person. But me? Yet at the same time all three synoptic gospels explicitly focus on the question that Jesus asks of me individually, not the theologian and not some other person who is expected to to have a facile answer. The question of Jesus isolates me. I do not guess a pass.
And yet coming up with a response to the question Jesus proposes does not require that I stand alone, fretting to come up with a sufficient answer. Jesus himself, if I allow him to rub shoulders with me, demonstrates the answer to the question. Indeed, Lord, you are my very breath, you are what is most authentic, you are the face of God.
—Jack Goldberg is a retired trial attorney. He and his wife Barbara live in Cincinnati. Jack is the moderator of the Moot Court competition team at St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati OH, and an alumnus of St. X.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.