Today’s Thoughts: “The salvation which God has wrought, and the Church joyfully proclaims, is for everyone. God has found a way to unite himself to every human being in every age. He has chosen to call them together as a people and not as isolated individuals. No one is saved by himself or herself, individually, or by his or her own efforts. God attracts us by taking into account the complex interweaving of personal relationships entailed in the life of a human community. This people which God has chosen and called is the Church. Jesus did not tell the apostles to form an exclusive and elite group. He said: “Go and make disciples of all nations”” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel)
These words from Pope Francis came to mind as I was preparing to preach this weekend. For the longest time I struggled with these readings especially the first reading from the Book of Exodus and the Gospel from John. What was I going to say about them?
On the one hand in the Book of Exodus we have the Ten Commandments or as the Old Testament itself call them the Ten Words. In the Gospel we have Jesus getting angry with the money changers and those who were selling oxen, sheep and doves for sacrifice. What is God saying to us today?
Often when we think of the Ten Commandments we think of laws, rules, regulations that we must follow. We think negatively about things that we can and cannot do. We think of things that take the fun out of life or obstacles that get in our way. We think of burdens that we have to carry. Yet as I sat with this reading during the week I didn’t see rule, regulations and laws I saw a relationship, my relationship with God. These are not just laws they are ways of living life, of honoring God, family, others and self. They are ways of helping the world encounter God’s presence.
In much the same way as I prayed with the Gospel I did not just hear and see Jesus angry with buying and selling in the temple. I saw and heard Jesus alive with God’s love as disappointed that those around him were not alive with that love too.
St. Paul reminds us today that the answers to our problems are not found in miracles, signs or wisdom. They are found in pausing before the Cross and remembering God’s love for us. It is in that sign, that wisdom that we find power, strength and wisdom that will last!
God has truly found a way to unite himself to us. He has chosen to call us together as a people and not as isolated individuals. Let us be family today. Let us be Church today. Let us be people who walk by faith today!
Have a blessed Sunday 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...