Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
God Has a Plan: Life, Freedom!
There’s a special "twist" today in both readings: in the Genesis reading, Jacob takes advantage of his father’s blindness to deceive his father Isaac and get the special blessing promised Esau, and in the Gospel Jesus challenges the disciples of John the Baptist who felt a bit jealous of Jesus’ disciples.
Jacob and Rebekah lied to Isaac in their deceptive practices, yet God took that evil act and turned it to His own good purposes: it was God’s will that the Messiah would be born from the descendants of Jacob. "God writes straight with crooked lines".
Jesus’ disciples broke the pattern set up by the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist; they did not fast, but rather "feasted" with Jesus as people do in wedding parties, or on the 4th of July — with lots of fun-filled vitality! Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to set people free from their sinfulness by his living message of unconditional Love. God has a Plan!
This July 4th the United States celebrates Independence Day, a very important national holiday. We have the usual festivities of parades, speeches, fireworks, family gatherings and food — and yet this year things are tempered by the economic woes of the past year, the continued presence of war and conflict in our world, the growing environmental challenges faced by ourselves (and the global community), etc.! We are indeed blessed, and we are invited to see that God does have a plan for us — perhaps a bit different than we have expected. God-given wisdom, patience and deep faith will open up for us a nation that is truly free, truly life-affirming, truly generous in sharing its riches and encouraging the growth of the human family worldwide.
Today God shares a special "twist" for our lives: in His loving Plan, Jesus has come to set us free and share God’s Life with us. May our lives be fireworks displays announcing the goodness and love of God.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.