The Problem of the Scribes and Pharisees

MEDITATION OF THE DAY

The Problem of the Scribes and Pharisees
‘The great problem of today’s world is no longer an inquiring theorization, but an existential question. Not, Who is right?’ but, ‘How can one live?’ Today’s world has been reduced to the level of evangelical poverty. In Jesus time, the problem was how to live, not who was right; this was the problem of the scribes and Pharisees” (Servant of God Luigi Guissani)….
These words…seem to summarize the malaise we experience here and now, in a situation twisted in on itself like a screw, in which the problem of “who is right” has been carried to the extreme, to the idea that the other is an objection to eliminate rather than a good to take into consideration. We see it in the way we often face politics, work, family, and relationships, as if the decisive point were theories, ideas, some solution that can “settle” our problems, and not the drama of living that we bear within and that makes such problems useful, even precious, in some way, notwithstanding the difficulty, because, as Father Giussani reminded us, “in the face of questions, problems, and difficulties, that which man loves comes to the surface.” The stronger the malaise, and the harder and deeper the problems, the greater is our need to strip them of the intellectualism, the chatter, and the superficiality, down to the necessary basics: “evangelical poverty” and the question of how one can live, what use faith is in all this.
This is a question that we have already asked ourselves many times. Deep down, it is always the same question, but none is more decisive for life and faith, because a faith that does not help us live is useless. Seen another way, faith is confirmed and made indispensable for us when we see that it responds to “that which characterizes the human person today: doubt about existence, fear of living, fragility, lack of substance in ourselves….”
The greatest obstacle is often our resistance to facing…[our] need as if we have within a strange resistance to asking, to opening wide the question of fulfillment that underlies our “toil in living.” Instead, when the event of Christ happens, one of the effects is that it makes us realize the importance of our need, the importance of what we are.

From an editorial in Traces magazine as found in Magnificat for August 25, 2014, pp 363-364.