How Is Truth Like a Rambutan?

In 16 Deacon Ruben Tamayo on 2014/12/12 at 12:12 AM







While preparing to preach on the Mass readings for November 20th a few weeks back, my first encounter with a rambutan in Bangkok many years ago came to mind.

Many of you may be wondering (or already Googling) what a rambutan is. A rambutan is a fairly common fruit in many parts of Asia which is pretty off-putting on the outside if you don’t know what it is – they looked pretty “hairy and scary” to me when I found a bowl full of them in my hotel room. Fortunately, one of the locals explained that it was an edible fruit and showed me how to crack open the intimidating exterior to get to the succulent and delicious pearly white fruit within.

So what does the Rabutan have to do with the Mass readings from November 20th? At one level, the joyful psalm (the delicious fruit) is surrounded by a disquieting first reading where John weeps because no one has been found worthy to “open the scroll and break its seals” and the Gospel in which Jesus also weeps about the impending destruction of Jerusalem. Both the first reading and Gospel reminded me of the exterior of the rambutan.

At a deeper level, we find that John is longing for the truth that is contained within the scroll that only the lamb, Jesus, can open for us. Jesus on the other hand is weeping because He is the “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and His people bring ruin upon themselves by rejecting Him and His Word, which is the truth which will set them free.

So why did those who heard Jesus reject the truth? Well, here is where the rambutan comes in. The truth is often disquieting at first because it forces us to confront our faults, weaknesses, and sinful habits; it challenges us to allow God to make us into a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) by letting go of whatever separates us from Him. Letting go of our sinful attachments can be “hairy and scary” like the outside of the rambutan but doing so allows us to savor the sweetness of the truth and the love of our Lord which give us a taste of Heaven!

Reflection based on the Thursday readings, 33rd week of Ordinary Time, Cycle 2: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112014.cfm



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