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Browsing Reflections Archive

July 16, 2021

Daily Reflection for Friday, July 16, 2021
 

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071621.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading :Exodus 11:10-12:14
Responsorial : Psalms 116:12-13, 15-18
Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8

Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
“Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent.   Matthew 12:5

I have always felt that God helped tame civilization by providing boundaries and rules as he did for the Israelites fleeing Egypt.  The ten commandments provided needed boundaries for an otherwise unruly mob while wandering the desert in search of a home.  Today, we hear the Exodus account providing detailed instructions of preparation for Passover to save their families from impending doom.  God is providing order to the Jewish people in the midst of most certain chaos to follow.

Something I rarely gave thought to is how God is equal parts of order and chaos.  Because we are made in God’s image, we too share that propensity for chaos and order.  There are many times throughout history that civilizations and communities become so set in their ways that they barely recognize their sinful nature.  These are moments that God may introduce a little chaos to “shake things up!”  For example, the Pharisees complain to Jesus that his disciples are not following the prescribed rules for the sabbath.  Jesus challenges the Pharisees to examine their sabbath laws for their arbitrary or inconsistent nature.

How do we grow and learn new things if we are not exposed to a chaotic point of view?  Without these challenges, we become stagnant and sure that our way is the right way.  We become reliant on secular rules and move away from being vulnerable and reliant on God.  I am certainly more comfortable maintaining order and stability than I am stirring the pot and challenging the status quo.  But this week’s gospels have shown Jesus challenging the Pharisees to rethink what they are teaching and why they are teaching it.  Jesus wants us to know God’s will and to follow him.  By his example, he calls us to enter the debate and challenge the status quo when necessary.

Lord, grant me the courage to do your will and wisdom to properly discern what that may be.

Paul Gunn

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