Today’s Thoughts: I find the scripture readings today rather interesting and contrasting. On the one hand we have the second half of the creation story which we began yesterday and, in the Gospel, we find Jesus at odds with the religious leadership over traditions, rules, regulations and rituals.
I always find the ending of the sixth day of creation rather comforting, "God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good," a change from the previous five days when God found everything "good." There seems to be a little something extra to the work of the sixth day the creation of humankind, a creation that forms us in the image and likeness of God. There is a specialness to this sixth day of creation that ends with the proclamation "very good."
It might seem prideful or conceited to think of ourselves as very good yet that is how God found us at the time of creation. The sad part though is does God find us that way now? I would answer, "Yes." There is a very goodness in all of us the problem is many of us have covered it over with junk, buried it and neglected it in search of something greater or more self-fulfilling, something that will gratify us for the moment.
All of us carry around within us the image and likeness of God which makes us special and important the trick is to find it, to believe it and to live it.
That brings me to the Gospel, Jesus' struggle with the religious leaders continues event to this day. I have often struggle myself with the way we as an institutional Church have put more emphasis on traditions, objects, rules, regulations and rituals rather than on people. Do not get me wrong, traditions, rules, regulations, and rituals are all important but not at the expense of people. One of my biggest struggles is that at times we treat inanimate object far better than we treat people. Jesus' mission, his message, his ministry, his living of life was about people. He did not disregard traditions, rules, regulations and rituals but he put them in their proper place as helps, as guides not as the be all and end all. He never valued traditions, rules, regulations and rituals over people. He never made them (rules, regulations, rituals) the faith of the community. He never let them hide the image and likeness of God.
I think if we want to be honest with ourselves, we need to be challenged by today's Gospel. We need to take a long hard look at what we do with traditions, rules, regulations, rituals in our faith life. We need to realize that perhaps at time we are just like Scribes, Pharisees and religious leaders in the Gospel today, tradition, rules, regulations and rituals get in the way of faith, get in the way of people, get in the way of God!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...