Friday of Week 22 in Ordinary Time

The Pharisees loved the traditions of their ancestors, and the thought of something new and different disturbed them; and they constantly challenged Our Lord by saying, in effect: “Why don’t you do the same things that we do—the same things we have always done?”

Now, on the one hand, there was nothing wrong with the Pharisees’ observance of their faith.  They fasted, they tithed, and they prayed.  They knew the Scriptures inside out.  They faithfully observed the Sabbath and holy days.  They avoided anything or anyone considered unclean.  They were good and faithful Jews.  What could possibly be wrong with that?

Well objectively, nothing at all.  But Our Lord preached a new message, and the Pharisees had a hard time embracing it.  Our Lord had come with a message of fulfilment, he didn’t hark back to the glory days of the past, rather he taught that the time had arrived.  The kingdom of God is among you.  The long-awaited bridegroom is here.  But the Jews had become so accustomed to waiting, that they had a hard time accepting the new, the exciting, the life-changing news that Our Lord had come to announce.

So what about us today?  Are we open to the possibility that Our Lord can make all things new for us?  For instance, do we resign ourselves to an illness, or do we ask for healing?  It may seem good enough that we avoid acts of violence, but the Holy Spirit has the power to purify us so that we can be entirely free from uncharitable thoughts and actions.  It may seem good enough simply to sit quietly at Mass, but all of heaven is waiting for us to join in.

Jesus makes all things new. And so we have to seek out the new life he offers.  We can’t limit the practice of our faith by simply trying to be good and avoiding sin.  God has so much he wants to give us.  He has so much he wants us to accomplish in his name.  May we always be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and may we have the courage and the humility to take God’s hand and allow him to lead us where he will.

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