Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Exodus 11:10-12:14; Matthew 12:1-8)

We may recognize the first reading today as what is given on Holy Thursday when we commemorate the Lord’s Supper.  Just like Jesus on the night before he died and most Jews throughout their history, we hear the story of God’s liberation of the Israelites from captivity in Egypt.  God accomplished this mighty feat by means of a plague that took the lives of the first-born of the captors. 

Perhaps a recent innovation, contemporary Jews sometimes include a prayer for their persecutors in the retelling of the story.  They recognize how terrible it is for parents to lose any child and pray that God will ease the suffering of those who suffered loss on account of Israel’s liberation.  Certainly Jesus has us praying for our enemies in this spirit.

Recently the Texas Legislature passed a bill that will restrict the number of abortions in the state.  The measure was deeply contested with many people both for and against the legislation coming forward to promote their cause.  We cannot help but be thankful for the legislation that will save human lives.  But at the same time we should pray for those who opposed it and those who in despair may pursue dangerous methods of aborting their babies.