Sunday, Oct. 25th 2020

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

Many find the Hebrew Scriptures problematic because of the violence – specifically eradicating peoples in order for the Israelites to take possession of the Promised Land. For all of the violence, there is certainly as much call for the protection of the alien, the stranger, and many others of God’s little ones whom the Chosen People are commanded to protect. This is in fact what we find in the reading from Exodus.

With that said, there is a curious caveat to this care for foreigners and the poor. If the Israelites “wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry.”* Did you catch that? Even should His people hurt the weak, God will not intervene without their own prayer to Him! That hardly seems just for the God who is Goodness itself.

Psalm 18 says that the Almighty One is “my rock of refuge, my shield…, my stronghold!” Notice how all of those are defensive implements: not rather is God a catapult, a sword, or a piercing arrow. In other words, men will fight us in this world – perhaps even the holiest among us, or at least those who should know better – but God will protect you in spite of these carnal attacks.

Jesus reiterates that for those who wish to be holy and called holy, they must prize the law of love above all else. Nevertheless, love of neighbor is sure to break down if we have not first turned to right relationship with the Father in our whole being. Blessed are the poor, but poverty itself will not make you holy or loveable. The Hebrews and Christ’s own family were refugees, but many of Israelites died in the wilderness because they did not trust in Providence. Anyone who wishes to grow in love must seek it at its source through a personal turning to God through Christ. God always loves His little ones, but He will not unduly intervene in the freedom of humans to love and turn to Love itself.

Reflection Question: When am I most apt to pray? Is it in time of need only? Is it only when I have time for God? Does my growth in prayer correspond to an equal growth in charity to neighbor?

Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB

 

*Emphasis added by author

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