Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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

The name April comes from the Latin aprilis which itself is derived from the word meaning to open.  Although the etymology of April follows a different path, it might be considered as the opening month of the year as indicated in today’s first reading.  The Passover feast is usually celebrated during the month of April as, of course, are Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Viewing the climatic events of the gospel through the lens of today’s passage from the book of Exodus deepens one’s appreciation of Christ’s mission.  Like the wool of an unblemished lamb, his life is not tainted by sin.  Moreover, its purity is infinitely richer because he always performs works of love.  As the blood of the lamb spread on the lintel of every house saved the people from the judgment of God on Egypt, the blood of Jesus sheds on the cross saves his followers from the judgment their sins merit.  And as the roasted flesh of the lamb provides the Israelites with food for the journey to freedom, so Christ’s flesh gives Christians the freedom to live imitating his goodness.

At time in the history of the Church some have considered the Old Testament as extraneous and dispensable.  Fortunately, wiser minds have always prevailed.  As we see today, the Old Testament gives needed perspective to understand the depth of Jesus’ victory on our behalf.  Indeed, the Old Testament enables us to understand who he is.