God’s Plan: Life, Freedom, Love!
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 today’s Gospel Jesus challenges the disciples of John the Baptist who were a bit jealous of Jesus’ disciples.
In their deceptive practices, Jacob & Rebekah lied to Isaac, yet God took that evil act and used it for His own good purposes, for it was God’s will that the Messiah would be born from the descendants of Jacob. Truly…“God writes straight with crooked lines”.
In the Gospel “twist”, Jesus’ disciples broke the pattern established by the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist: they did not fast, but rather “feasted” with Jesus as people do in joy-filled wedding parties — or on the 4th of July in the U.S.A.! Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to set people free from their selfishness and sinfulness by his lived message of unconditional Love. Truly…God has a Plan, a Divine Plan of Life, Freedom, and Love!
This July 4th our nation celebrates Independence Day, an important national holiday. We have the usual festivities of parades, speeches, lots of fireworks, family gatherings and food. And yet this year the festivities are tempered by the continued presence of violence and war in our world (even close to home), the growing environmental challenges the world faces (and Pope Francis has addressed), smoldering racism, global economic woes, etc.! We recall our blessings, and we’re invited to see that God does have a plan for our world to address our world situation — perhaps a bit different than we expect. God-given wisdom & patience & deep faith will help form a nation that is truly free, truly life-affirming on all levels, truly generous in sharing its riches, truly aware of its position as a major player on the global scene.
Today in Jesus God gives a special “twist” to our lives: in His loving Plan, Jesus comes to set us free from our sinfulness and selfishness, to share God’s Love and Life with our needy world. May we Christians, especially we Americans this July 4th, be living “fireworks celebrations” of the goodness and love of God.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.