M. Basil Pennington, a Cistercian monk at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, is the author of books on centering prayer and other spiritual practices. According to his reading of the New Testament, Jesus was a good rabbi, always asking the right questions. They were designed to open up his listeners to a new understanding of God, themselves, others, and the world.
Far too many Christians in the past were encouraged by catechisms to pretend and often act as if they "had the answers." A far better approach is to stretch our souls on the questions of Jesus that are both difficult and challenging. In this devotionally rich resource, Pennington ponders some of the over 200 questions of Jesus including: What do you want me to do for you? Who do you say that I am? Where are the nine? Has no one condemned you? and Who is my mother?
Pennington observes: "It is good to live in the question. A pat answer is closed. It is finished; that's it. It goes no where and leaves little room for hope. A question opens space for us. It is full of possibility. Our faith, solid as it might be, is full of questions, and therefore full of life and hope." The quest in Jesus' questions takes us deeper into ourselves and expands our hearts in such a way that love becomes the only response to a neighbor in need or an enemy who's at our throats.