Jesus and Action Verbs
The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw and I believed in God.” (Communion Antiphon from 4th Sunday of Lent)
Before I realized the Lord was calling me to the contemplative religious life, I wanted to be an English teacher. I love WORDS (and punctuation too, for that matter)! And if I had to pick one particular set of words that I love the most, it would be ADJECTIVES – glorious, lovely, expressive adjectives! I have always loved adjectives. However, the Communion Antiphon from Sunday shook up my adjective-crazed world and now I may have a new favorite set of words: ACTION VERBS! Why this sudden change? Well, action verbs and Jesus make a great team!
Before going on, to jog your memory, the Gospel on Sunday was about the healing of the man born blind (see John 9: 1-41). The Communion Antiphon beautifully sums up the long Gospel account in less than 20 words: The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw and I believed in God.
What I really love about the antiphon is how it ends – “and I believed in God.” Doesn’t “believe” seem like both a dynamic and a stative verb in this sentence (an action and continuous state). How cool is that?!? And how true is that!?!?! (*Dear Grammar Police, I know this is not possible, but we’re talking about spiritual things here…so please be forgiving!)
There is this action on the part of Jesus – “The Lord anointed my eyes.” Then everything gets going for the blind man: “I went, I washed, I saw”. And then there is this gloriously dynamic statement: “I believed.” WOW! There is something so striking about how the antiphon ends (seems more like a beginning, huh?). This ‘believing’ is the direct result of a personal encounter. And, I would dare to say, it is something that the once blind man would NEVER be able to deny. A personal encounter with the Lord gives a powerful experiential dimension to our belief. It makes denying our belief next to impossible. And it makes it possible for us to say with every fiber of our being: Believing in God is truly the gateway to a world of new sight, love, joy, beauty, activity, healing and continuous wonder. It is the gateway to Heart of God.
Suffice it to say, when we encounter the Lord Jesus, life will never be the same (and we will never be bored again!). Once He anoints us, action verbs take on a whole new meaning! Let us never forget, though, the first action verb always belongs to Him.
The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw and I believed in God.”