Shaken Awake, Stirred to Action

Today’s readings have some of the raw materials of every great James Bond story. Bond’s success depends on his meetings with Q, who equips 007 with the tools he’ll need to accomplish his mission. “Equips” is the key word here because if you’ve seen one of these movies you’ve seen some pretty spectacular equipment. But these gadgets would be useless in Bond’s hands without the lecture from Q on how to use them.

In today’s first reading, think of Moses as Bond and the Holy Spirit as Q, who equips him with a pretty awesome staff that helps Moses’ people mow down Amalek’s army as it attacks Israel. Somehow the Holy Spirit taught Moses the key to its power: keeping it raised high throughout the invasion. Because Moses was an old agent, he enlisted the help of fellow agents Aaron and Hur to help him complete his mission.

In the second reading, Paul plays the role of Q, telling Timothy (his James Bond) how to use the equipment he’s given:

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

And of course Jesus, being part of the Holy Trinity, is integral with all the key protagonists (minus Bond’s vices and with a license to give life). As Bond he was equipped with the word of God the Father by his Q—the Holy Spirit—during those 40 days in the desert. And what ingenious device did God the Son use to decode the instructions of God the Father? This thing called constant prayer. In today’s gospel Jesus takes on the role of Q to share that secret with his agents—the disciples—via his parable of the judge who finally gives in to the woman who keeps pestering him for a judgment in her favor.

“Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says,” he tells his disciples. “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?”

So here we have the Bible hidden in Bond: God’s prophets, saints and Son play a viceless version of our hero. Their powerful equipment is the word of God, and they are equipped and trained on how to use it by the Holy Spirit, who is their “Q.” Of course Jesus is inseparable from all these roles, and as God he uses them to this day to penetrate the armor of today’s thick-skulled masses so they can become his agents of salvation.

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