July 8, 2017 – Saturday in the 13th. Week of the Church Year

Saints for the day: Gregory Grassi & Companions (died July 9, 1900)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Genesis 27:1-5, 1529 – Psalm 135 – Matthew 9:14-17

A note to my faithful Scratchpad Reflections readers. Today was the first time I’ve ever encountered two different references for the days scripture readings for today’s liturgy. So the “link” above has the correct references but from a different source than I have been using. This snag might make my posting for Saturday reflection a little later than usual. But here it is for better or for …

“The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?’” (the beginning of today’s Holy Gospel according to Matthew)

Fasting/feasting; old/new; past/future: these are choices that are always with us and I have to come back to our friend, Thomas Aquinas with his great saying, “in the middle is virtue!” Life is never just black or white. There are myriads of subtle shades in between and our journey of life will always be more like the Israelites journey of wandering through the wilderness rather than like some passive “cliff dweller” sitting there waiting for the final sun-set of life.

In the Book of Deuteronomy (30:19 ) we are told, “Behold! I set before you life and death; blessing and curse; choose life that you may live.”

 As Christians we are bound for the New Jerusalem and, once we have “put our hand to the plow” we must never turn back. Often, when I hear people lamenting on the way the world or the church has changed and wish they could go back to the way it was I have to laugh and remind them that going back is never a good option since they would have to arbitrarily stop somewhere – as if that era were some “golden age.” I grew up in the 1950’s and I can tell you that it wasn’t the “golden age of the Church.” Things had gotten so far off center that we even used to celebrate the Easter Vigil at 7 o’clock on Saturday morning! It made no sense at all to sing, “Christ, the Light!” while shielding your eyes from the rising sun!

Every morning, when we wake up we’re beginning a new day. We can’t wake up and say, “I’m going back!” We have no choice but to get up out of bed and continue our journey. Will we wake up on “easy street?” Probably not. But what other choice do we have. Get out of bed. Thank God that you still have the breath of life within and get ready to get back on the way. As St. Catherine of Siena says, “It’s Heaven all the way to Heaven!” Amen! Short but sweet and I’m just glad that I was able to find the correct “links” for Saturday’s liturgy so we’re all on the same page. Amen!

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