Thursday, October 13, 2016

Adopted through Christ

By Beth DeCristofaro

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:3, 5-6)

(Jesus said) Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter. (Luke 11:52)

Oh Brother Jesus, show me the path of life.  I thank you and I bless you for the joy of your presence.  May I always follow you and be your instrument not an obstacle to anyone.  Grant the keys of knowledge to leaders in your holy church and our quarrelsome country.

In today’s Gospel, the notes to the NAB[i] reference Matthew 23:13 in order to illuminate the above passage. In Matthew, Jesus’ words are very clear: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” Jesus chastises the leaders because their actions do not match their study and their preaching. Juxtaposed is Paul’s wonderful belief that the Divine Being adopts us, frail and mortal, through His own Son.

Do our deeds match our words and our public persona?  Do we bless the Father and the Son, grateful in both action and study for being adopted? Does what we do and who we are testify to God’s work in the world? We have been gifted beyond our wildest expectations and dreams yet often our dreams and expectations become deadlocked and stifling as did those of the synagogue leaders. Paul was persecuted, shackled and ultimately martyred for his teachings. But he counted himself as not only free but wildly rewarded because he lived fully as beloved and chosen of God.     

Pray today for leaders. Pope Francis, the new Cardinals he designated and our new Bishop of Arlington Michael Burbidge. Pray also for those running for office that they might serve as enlightened servants and peacemakers. Pray that all leaders be open to the keys of knowledge that God grants rather than seeking self-aggrandizement.

No comments: