Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/25/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Sat of 16th week. Exodus 24:3-8. Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6. 14-15.
Matthew 13:24-30. Lectionary # 400:
God makes covenants with communities of faith. We have seen this in the
covenant with Abraham, then with Noah, Moses, and in the New Testament with
the Christian communities started by the apostles. We learn that a
response of faith and action are part of a covenant. In our first reading
we see the people, the Israelites, responding to God and the covenant as
they proclaim, "We will do everything the Lord has told us." The narrative
continues with the blood offerings of Moses and the people witnessing and
agreeing on them. He pours the animal sacrificial blood on the altar and
then sprinkles the people with the blood as a sign for them that they are
participants in what is happening. Again the people shout out, "All that
the Lord has said, we will do." Both their faith response and their
putting it into action is part of the covenant. Words alone do not suffice.
Jesus celebrates the Passover which is a great event resulting from the
covenant God has made with his people. Jesus uses the bread and wine at
the supper as the elements and real signs of his covenant with the apostles
as they gather at Passover. They will pass this tradition on to the
communities or churches they will found. And we, the inheritors, continue
to repeat what Jesus has done in the liturgical celebration of the
Eucharist. We then are sent to do what the apostles did. We pass on the
words and actions of Jesus into our witness, our ministries and our
ordinary work where we meet others. Our example probably is more important
than our words in witnessing to who we are in relationship to our covenant
with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Besides our believing in the covenants we realize we have to put the
agreement, the words of the covenant into action. We learn that Jesus
invites us to "do" the will of God. Both the narrative of the Exodus and
the words of Jesus emphasize that covenants call us to action through faith
communities which help us to be strong in our faith witness to others. When
we hear the celebrant say, "Go, the Mass is finished," this means we are
now ready to begin our work of witnessing and proclaiming what we have made
in our covenant with God and Jesus. Amen.
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