Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Readings at this link
Fr. Robert Barron’s 15 minute audio reflection at this link
Reflection on each of the readings at this catholicmatters link
Vatican Radio commentary on the readings, including a great daVinci story at this link
A few of my own thoughts:
- The contemporary western ear, mind and heart struggles with the concept of law. It is common for people to think that law limits freedom. I think of the police lights and siren that came up behind me as I travelled to Amberley last week. I wanted to escape the law. But had another drive driven into me at speed I would call on the full weight of the law to prosecute them. We like to be able to pick and choose the laws we obey, as well as when we or others obey them or not. Law is rarely seen as an objective truth that is for our good, and which enables freedom. When it comes to Church teaching we are much the same – people tend to pick and choose from what they consider to be little more than a smorgasbord of possiblities or suggestions.
- The people of the Old Testament, the Jewish people, were and are often referred to as the “People of the Book” or the “People of the Law.” It is helpful for us to remember that for these people journeying from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the land of promise, the Law (Ten Commandments) was their greatest treasure. Until Moses came down the mountain bringing these tablets of teaching written by the hand of God, the people were lost desert wanderers who in difficult moments foolishly saw their past captivity as preferable to their present thirst. Now, with the arrival of the Law, the people had heard from God. They rejoiced that God had spoken, communicating to them, with unprecedented practical clarity, a method that would enable them to really live: “If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you…before you are life and death, good and evil, whichever you choose shall be given to you.”
- Many baptised Catholics have drifted from the Church in their teenage years, and have never been fully a part of the Church as an adult. This means that they, now in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and older, have never really tried Catholicism. As a result they don’t know whether or not their lives would in fact be happier and healthier if they did live as fully active Catholics with a weekly rhythm of Mass, and a regular pattern of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, (ref Pope Francis below on need for God’s mercy), and a daily rhythm of prayer alone and with family, and striving to live by the commandments and all aspects of Church teaching.Here’s my encouragement: try living fully as a Catholic for one month. Then each night take a minute or so as part of your night prayer to ask yourself if you think are happier as a result of this decision. If you decide that you are not happier, then I am sure you will go back to your previous way of life. But, if you find that you are happier, why would you let go of your renewed commitment and practice?