Have you ever made an assumption about a situation or person only to learn later that your assumption wasn’t right? If you haven’t done this, I want to meet you for you are very unique!
When one of my nieces was a senior in high school, she was in the process of selecting a college. During one of our conversations about her college plans, she confided in me that she was afraid that she was going to disappoint her parents. I asked why. She said that her parents wanted her to choose a college that had a strong soccer program since she was such a fine soccer player. Throughout high school she had played soccer and it was a big part of her life. But, she told me, she wasn’t so sure she wanted to play soccer in college. But, she didn’t want to disappoint her parents.
As we talked I suggested to her that the main reason her parents were so enthusiastic about soccer was their belief that she wanted to continue to play when she went to college. I assured her that they would support her in whatever decision she made about soccer, and that it was highly unlikely they would be disappointed in any way. So, she took the risk and told her parents what she really wanted. And, of course her parents were fine with it.
Assumptions that aren’t accurate can really blind us to possibilities. Such was the situation in today’s Gospel when the Sadducees were blind to the possibility of life after death. They assumed that if such a life existed it would have the same limitations our current life has. Jesus refused to accept their assumptions and opened a whole new vision for them.
Sometimes I wonder what possibilities we don’t see because we are limited by the assumptions we make. In today’s Gospel we are encouraged not to be limited to our ordinary assumptions. We pray today for the grace not to be trapped by our assumptions but to be open to hearing the freeing words of the Gospel.
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director of the Passionist Development Office and lives in Chicago, Illinois.