Friday, September 2, 2016

Reflection: Luke 5:33-39

Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time - Luke 5:33-39

Today, the Pharisees are criticizing Jesus for not being ascetical enough. In their eyes Jesus and his disciples should be fasting and praying more — a lot more! They think that Jesus should be as ascetical as John the Baptist and as ascetical as they are.

It is so tempting to criticize and judge others on the basis of what we see and observe. This is exactly what the Pharisees do in today’s Gospel. In their eyes, Jesus should be more like John the Baptist, eating locusts and wild honey. We all have our own standards of what we think is best and how others should act. However, I assume that most of us don’t appreciate it when another person criticizes or judges us simply by observing our behavior.

Jesus invites his listeners to look at the situation in a different way. He tells them that he is doing something new. Are we open to the new that Jesus may be inviting us to? This may be an uncomfortable invitation. Like the Pharisees, I can get comfortable with the ways things have always been. I may be tempted to criticize another person who is not doing things the way I think they should be done. Jesus is challenging the Pharisees, and us, to be open to other ways of doing things. He is challenging them not to judge others so quickly. Today may we be mindful of not jumping to judgment!

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