Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again taught them. The Pharisees approached him and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”
The War On Women. It began long before last year’s Presidential race, and it has branched out to include the unborn, marriage and feminine dignity. The war on women actually began soon after the fall, when man began to look at a woman in an entirely new and selfish way.
Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her. But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female…equal, yet distinct.
Christ’s words must have created a mini earthquake in the minds of his male listeners, including His disciples. But in one sentence, the Lord just tipped the balance of power away from men. Good for Him!
Sacrifice and love. Selfishness and selflessness look similar from the outside. There appears to be an imbalance of sorts. But where selfishness is self-centered and self-serving, selflessness is self-emptying and self-giving. Another name for selflessness is love, and what makes love possible is sacrifice.
Love and Sacrifice go hand-in-hand, like Christ on the Cross. They are nailed together and were meant to stay together until death do us part.
Love is Sacrifice’s skin. It makes ugly things look beautiful and attractive.
A few weeks ago I celebrated a funeral Mass for an elderly woman. She was 89-years-old and was married for over 50 years. She had six children and 20 grandchildren. As I read her obituary I wasn’t particularly impressed; that is, there was nothing that really caught my attention. But then I meet her children and grandchildren and was deeply moved. They were all in tears, visibly shaken and visibly sad. They loved their mom and grandmother very much. But why? What did she do?
Well, for years she worked in dirty places: fields, factories, etc… And even though she came home filthy every night, she just shined in the eyes of her children. From an early age they understood she was doing it all for them. And when the grandchildren had their sports events, it was grandma who was sitting there: smiling, cheering and clapping. And the grandchildren just loved it.
What were the Apostles thinking about when they saw Jesus nailed to that cross, or when his torn body came down from the Cross? What did they think? “How ugly?” “How gross?” “How disturbing?” No, not at all. I’m sure they were thinking: “How beautiful!” “How incredible! “How inspiring!” Why??? Because they knew what He was saying as he died on that Cross: “YOU’RE WORTH IT…You’re worth every bit of this pain.”
They understood this because they had spent time with Him. (0)