Our (very poetic) readings this week continue on the theme of God’s faithfulness, and our trust in God, which gives us the freedom to keep our priorities straight and not to get caught up in worry. If we are in right relationship with God, that freedom translates into availability for service to others. Because, as Jesus says, “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
Tag archive: Scripture
Being holy doesn’t mean that our lives are perfect, serene or easy. It means that no matter what’s going on, we love one another and try to help one another be our best.
I have always loved that on the day the Church celebrates the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph—the Gospel is the story of when Jesus went missing. It’s a great story because it shows the care and concern that parents have for their children, the challenge that is parenthood and the real point of family life—to help one another to fulfill our destinies; to become what we are called to be. The Holy Family does this with mutual love, respect and patience. Mary and Joseph were truly scared when they couldn’t find Jesus. Mary said, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” They didn’t understand what he meant when he replied,“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”, but they loved and cared for him all the same. Even though he was God, he “was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” This shows us a little glimpse into the Holy Family’s life—it wasn’t easy. It was a struggle. The Holy Family was poor, insignificant and real. This story is the last time we hear about Joseph—he may have passed away shortly after this, for all we know. Family life is not always easy—but when we trust in God and live God’s plan for us, it can make us more holy.
This Sunday’s readings are one of those rare and wonderful times when we hear an original story from the Hebrew Scriptures, and then Jesus quotes the story in his teaching. In the Book of Genesis we hear the second story of Creation when God creates the first man and woman, making them suitable partners for one another. We see that God intends for us to live in community, and that we thrive and are most fulfilled when we have others to share our lives with—particularly in the context of family. When questioned on divorce, Jesus affirms God’s intention for us, instructing us on the life-giving nature of marriage and the commitment, unity and salvation that marriage has to offer us. He also brings children to himself, embracing and blessing them, showing everyone what a special gift they are. They bring joy and holiness to a family and remind us of how we should interact with God—like children dependent on their loving Father.
Do you have trouble paying attention at Mass? Sometimes it’s hard—there are so many distractions around us, and inside our heads (cute babies, shopping lists, the ‘oh crud—did I remember to…?”). When we’re supposed to be singing a hymn, sometimes I catch myself looking at the notes and how some of them look like smiley faces. If we’re open to it, anything can become a distraction. And it seems like there’s a lot of “down time” in the Mass for that to happen—time when we are not speaking or singing…just sitting and the priest is doing his thing.