Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

“Though some hesitated”

Posted by universalis on 8 June 2009

Yesterday’s Gospel was from Matthew 28:16-20, and it has this sentence:

When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated.

I’m sure one could draw out some terribly pious moral from this, but I’m not interested in that. For me, that sentence is fun because it shines a little light into the very human process of writing a gospel. Anyone who has ever written a family memoir will know the problem well.

We can’t say everyone behaved perfectly on that occasion, because it would be untrue: X. didn’t. We can’t say everyone behaved perfectly except X, because it would be unkind: poor X. just had a wobbly moment.

And so a passion for truth and a passion for charity collide, and the result is the true but tactful phrase: “though some hesitated”.

For me, little things like this are the strongest argument for the authenticity of the Gospels.

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4 Responses to ““Though some hesitated””

  1. Prayer of the Heart said

    Walking home across the desert
    carrying Abba Mose’s cracked pitcher of sand
    feeling the sand falling from it with each step…
    a grain for each of my passions yet unbowed…
    running out behind me…

  2. PraeVenia said

    My version of the bible (the Christian Community Bible, published in 1999 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) translates the passage thus:

    QUOTE
    As for the Eleven disciples, they went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before him, although some DOUBTED.
    UNQUOTE

    After the ultimate disobedience/betrayal of the one (like Mary, he accepted his rôle in the salvation of the human race, she to glory, he to disgrace: could there be a case for changing this perception?), the remaining 11 do as they are asked and go where they are told.

    Furthermore, they bow before Jesus, a second manifestation of His Authority and their commitment to Him and it. Yet some either hesitate to do so – an outward show of their uncertainty, or show no outward sign, but doubt internally.

    As you say, very human and a great argument for going through the motions, even though not entirely convinced. Things will eventually come together as the Church did from this motley crew of 11. Their third (the mystical three!)act of obedience as they fulfilled His injunction to:

    QUOTE
    Go, therefore, and make disciple from all nations.
    UNQUOTE

    For me, the greatest comfort when in mid-wobble, is Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. He sweated all kinds, without the support of his closest allies, who slept, before accepting what he already knew had to be. That ‘still small voice’ has usually informed us, yet we still engage in a struggle, which can ultimately only be endured alone.

    …..and in the end? The joy of the release brought about by His death and Resurrection, the freedom from the stain of original sin, the peace of being at one with self/God.

    • Guadalupe said

      Most of my meditations come from the writings of the saints, and footnotes of the Bible.

      When I read your comment the reality of realities hits, and sunddenly you touch your forhead and say: Oh my God! I identify with the whole thing.
      Thank you

  3. PræVenia said

    PS Universalis, hope you still enjoy the pious moralizing despite your stated lack of interest!

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