for Sunday, October 16, 2011
Who is chosen by the Lord? Perhaps too often we think that only those who
are faithful to their religious obligations are chosen by the Lord. The
Scriptures keep telling us over and over that this is not so. God chooses
anyone and everyone. God will the salvation of every person who has ever
lived. God makes us of those who are His chosen people but also those who
belong to the pagans and the gentiles. It is important for us to realize
this so that we don't think that just because we are Christians, we have a
special right to God's divine life.
In today's first reading, from the Prophet Isaiah, we see God using Cyrus
and calling Cyrus his anointed one. Yet Cyrus was not one of the chosen
people. We also know that in the genealogy of Christ, there are present
some women who did not come from the chosen people. God works where God
wants to work and uses whatever person He chooses.
Today's Gospel from Saint Matthew teaches the same kind of reality. The
Pharisees are trying to trip Jesus up with their way of thinking, so that
they can show others that Jesus is not anyone special. Jesus outwits them,
as usual. God's presence and love do not depend on keeping all the
rules that the Pharisees had found in order to protect the Law. We should
not ridicule all of these Laws because they really did help keep a strong
practice of faith. The problem is when the small laws become more
important that the enormous values they are supposed to be protecting.
We Christians should listen to the words of the First Letter to the
Thessalonians today, wherein we are told: For our gospel did not come to
you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much
conviction. Living the Gospel is not just knowing the words, but living in
its power by our daily actions, living in the power of the Holy Spirit,
both with actions and with conviction.
Christianity is not a philosophy so much as a way of living daily life.
We want to be followers of Jesus Christ, living as He lived and striving to
love all others as He did. May our listening to the Word of God today move
us from attentiveness to strong living actions of faith.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: