Friday, July 21, 2017

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 is derived from the word meaning to open.  It is thought that the month was called April because it was the time when flowers began to open (bloom).  Because the Passover feast is usually celebrated during April as are Good Friday and Easter Sunday, another sense of opening is indicated.  The events associated with these days mark the opening or beginning of human liberation.

Viewing the gospel through the lens of today’s passage from 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 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 shed 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 times in the history of the Church some have considered the Old Testament 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.