Nobody’s perfect. That’s a truth that the whole world agrees with…except for Jesus. Jesus actually instructed us to be perfect as if he totally expected us to just go ahead and do it. It’s not really a stretch, either, because we are all temples of the Holy Spirit–it’s built right into us. And, because God is so good, God gives us easy instructions to follow to make us perfect.
Tag archive: Scripture Reflection
The Commandments that God gave to humanity were meant for one purpose–to help us have life and have it more abundantly. When we choose to live God’s law, we are choosing a path that is life-giving both here and in heaven.
Last week we were offered something of an attitude assessment, or even an attitude adjustment. God has given us everything; as we the readings told us last week, we are truly blessed. God tells us, very clearly, that if we want to bring light and healing to our own lives, that we have to share our love for God with others. Sharing our love means caring for those who can’t care for themselves. Our own healing starts there.
Our culture, and the cultures throughout all of history, place an enormous value on success, productivity, honor and glory. The “American Dream” tells us that anybody, regardless of their circumstances can make something great of themselves with enough hard work and determination. Today’s Gospel is the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He gives a list of who the blessed are, which doesn’t match the common sensibility. But, that’s God’s way–always turning the culture on its head.
One of the neatest things about the way that God speaks to us is the consistency of the message.This week, we hear of Isaiah’s prophesy of the light that will come in a time of darkness, Paul’s charge to be united, and the beginning of Jesus’ mission after John’s was completed.
Did you know that you are an apostle? We are an “apostolic faith.” That means that each person who has had the opportunity to know Jesus has the job of sharing Jesus with others. Today’s readings show how God works through our example to help others see the light of God’s presence in the world.
We are all familiar with the story of the Three Magi (Wise Men, or if you’re from New Jersey, Wise Guys) and the gifts that they brought to Jesus. Our first and second reading also speak of gifts; the extravagant gifts that God lavishes on us—that of inheritance as children of God. These readings speak to more than just ourselves as being the recipients—we are coheirs with God’s children in every race.
Today is an extra special day—it’s the octave of Christmas (one week later), New Year’s Day, the 50th World Day of Peace, and the day we celebrate that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. The last one might not seem like such a big deal—we all know that Mary is God’s Mom, but for the early Church this teaching was a major breakthrough. And it’s still important for us today because Mary is our Mother, too.
The Christmas story is one familiar to us all; whether it’s the story of the shepherds being summoned to the manger, the genealogy of Jesus (the endless list of begats), or John’s “in the beginning was the Word…”, each story introduces an aspect of Jesus’ life that is important to our Christmas experience.
I could have called this reflection “Called to be Holy” because that’s certainly a theme within the readings, but when we choose not to respond to our call to be holy, we wind up tempting God and wearying people. Trusting God is how we respond to our call to be holy and today’s readings highlight a couple of characters who were invited to do just that.