Absurdity

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Acts 9, Psalm 117, John 6

There was an interesting thematic link between the two readings last Friday. Acts tells of the famous conversion of Saul, while John relates the famous discourse of the Eucharist.

The common denominator is absurdity — from a human perspective of course. It is absurd that God would choose Saul to be his instrument. In fact, the apostles found it so absurd to the point that they were repeatedly questioning: “Lord, are you sure this is the right man? He has persecuted so many of our people!”

Then we have the ‘absurd’ teaching that Jesus commanded His followers to eat His flesh. Indeed, the doctrine of transubstantiation, which many find to be absolutely absurd, is reflected clearly in John 6:66, when it was stated that many of the disciples no longer walked with Christ upon hearing it.

Yet both of these are true in the fullest sense. St. Paul became the instrument to bring the Gospel to pagan kings, while Jesus is truly present today, in the Eucharist, giving us our daily bread.

God’s ways are most of the time, unfathomable to men. In our limitations, we tend to view God’s ways as absurd. But the Truth of the matter oftentimes is the direct opposite.

 

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Painting: Caravaggio, The Conversion of Saul, Wikimedia Commons / PD-US

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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