Monday, December 29, 2008

Daily Office Reflection: Thomas Becket

Psalms 18:1-20 * 18:21-50; Isaiah 12:1-6; Revelation 1:1-8; John 7:37-52

Jesus cites scripture today quoting "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water." His credentials are then questioned because he is believed to come from Galilee, where he was raised, as opposed to Bethlehem, the birth city of King David. He lets people think what they want to think and doesn't challenge their arrogant sureness that they know all. All but Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, but whose mind and heart started to change, that self-righteous sureness started to crumble, once he met Jesus.

We celebrate Thomas Becket's life and ministry today in Lesser Feasts and Fasts. He changed once he was raised to Archbishop of Canterbury. He changed from being King Henry II's buddy and pal to a challenger of the throne. Becket was a complicated man, as all people are, but he changed from doing the bidding of his friend and king to protecting what he was charged to protect: the church and the people who make the church what it is. 

Nicodemus the Pharisee questioned his and his fellow religious leaders' arrogant sureness of knowing what was "right." Thomas Becket changed from arrogant noble and sycophant to the powerful, to a defender of the church. Both of these individuals, through their faith, brought the living water that is Christ's love to those who needed to drink of that water. What are we so arrogantly sure about that we are blind to anything else? Does our arrogant surety block our ability to have faith?

Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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