Another fascinating story today in our first reading from Genesis 32. Today we read about Jacob wrestling with a divine being. After something of a stalemate, Jacob gets his name changed. More in a moment. In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells the disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” True then, true today.
Jacob was alone. In the middle of the night, he was visited by a being. In Genesis 32, the being is called a man. In Hosea 12, the prophet says that it was an angel. Some theologians have said that it was the pre-incarnate Christ. They wrestled. And after the wrestling match, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, “because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” However you slice it, this was one of those watershed moments in salvation history.
When I was a kid, I was into professional wrestling. Big Time Wrestling came on TV every Saturday. I was enthralled by guys like The Sheik, Bobo Brazil, Wild Bull Curry and his son Flying Fred Curry. Little did I know that it was all theater - an illusion. Just like my wrestling with God now. While I may think that I can get God on the ropes and impose my will on him, it's all an illusion. In the end, my attempts to pin God are always futile.
Father, forgive us for those times when we want to wrestle with you; to impose our will on you. Give us the grace to allow you to move us wherever and however you will. Amen.