Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

(Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47)

It's takes no great insight to see that in planning soccer games on Sunday mornings society is replacing religion with physical fitness.  Sure, some families faithfully hustle to church at another hour during the day, but most are content to substitute competition for worship on the Lord's Day.  Today’s first reading recalls the Israelites in the desert also forsaking God.

Tired of waiting on the Lord, the people take religion into their own hands and create objects of worship for themselves.  It is a familiar story.  Rebellious hearts refuse to accept the legacy that has been handed down to them and search for something different to treasure and worship.  In the gospel Jesus pleads with the Jews to accept him as the faithful interpreter of the Mosaic covenant who has come to reestablish the closeness of the people to God. They, however, content with their structures of privilege would prefer that he just leave the premises.

We must take care to live our faith as it has been handed on to us.  This entails not only attending mass on Sundays but also not hankering after fulfillment from pleasure, power, or athletic prowess.  Stated simply, it means to follow Jesus in his love for his Father and all our brothers and sisters.