Two men meet on the road and begin to...wrestle? Why, in a land where hospitality is so valued, would two complete strangers meet on the road and begin to wrestle? Exactly who was Jacob wrestling with? Was it an angel, or perhaps even God? If Jacob was wrestling with God or even an angel, how is it that this stranger was forced to intentionally injure Jacob by wrenching his hip, in order to avoid losing? How did Jacob wrestle with God and not lose? If we see this as an actual physical wrestling match, God should win with no difficulty. But Jacob held his own, more than held his own, and would have won had his hip not been injured. If, however, we look at this differently, not as an actual, physical, wrestling match, we can see Jacob winning. If Jacob were wrestling with God in his heart, in his soul, in his mind, Jacob could win easily. After all, we do it all of the time. I don't believe that any of us does something that we see as evil. Whatever we want to do, even those things that can be called evil, we do, after we find a way to justify it in our minds. We turn that evil act into a good so that we can do it. That is when we win the wrestling match with God. Occasionally, in this epic struggle, God may give us a shot to the hip, not to hurt us, but to get our attention, to remind us of what we already know. Indeed, God does not want to hurt us, rather God wants to keep us from hurting ourselves. When we choose to ignore God, when we choose to do that which we know we should not do, all too often the one we hurt the most is ourselves. Perhaps we would do well to listen to God, to choose more wisely, to abstain from the wrestling match. We'd limp a lot less.
Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time
July 10, 2007