Tuesday, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings for February 7, 2017

Genesis 1:20-2:4a, Psalm 8:4-9, Mark 7: 1-13

So do we acknowledge that God gives us everything we have?

Do we consider ourselves utterly dependent on God’s gifts for everything in our life?

If not, that’s the perspective we are hearing in today’s readings. Genesis, the Psalm and the Gospel are all telling us that at the very ground of our being, where we begin, God is the one who counts.

In Genesis the ancient Jewish writers made the point by saying that God made everything. That’s a pretty direct statement about how dependent they believed their life was on God and God’s grace.

The Psalmist says we are utterly dependent on God by being a believer who is awed by God’s love and gifts to human beings. “What is man that you should be mindful of him?”

In Mark’s Gospel Jesus is absolutely dismissive of the way the Pharisee’s have twisted Jewish tradition so that the love of God that was part of the original Jewish practices has been lost. Now only the practices survive and none of the recognition that it offered a way to do what God does, love one another.

I think it is hard for us to accept our dependence on God. There isn’t anything obvious in everyday life that demonstrates God’s direct care and support. It’s possible in this day and age for a person to live a life that never encounters a serious proposal of faith in God. Perhaps more to the point, we who profess a faith in God and an interest in being faithful and living a life that exemplifies God’s presence on earth can have a hard time figuring out where God fits into the picture.

Sometimes it’s convenient to think that God lives in Church and that we come to visit and hope to pick up some help so we can go back “out there” and live our lives as good people.

Sometimes we can believe God is active and involved in what happens in our lives beyond Church and other things holy. But when asked it might be hard to explain just how.

I don’t have a clean clear answer to how God creates our world even as we live in it or about why bad things happen to good people. But I do believe that the answer lies in taking the term faith seriously. The best translation of what we call faith is what in any other context we would call trust. So learning to recognize and act on a faith in God is to act in the way we would trust someone, someone who loves us and always acts in our best interest. Like a parent for their child.

So I go back to the questions I asked first.

Do we acknowledge that God gives us everything we have?

Do we consider ourselves utterly dependent on God’s gifts for everything in our life?

Do we trust God?

Can we work hard and be responsible and still sense that the very ability to work and respond is a gift of God’s love. Can we be blessed in our abilities and ambitions yet frustrated in many of life’s situations and still trust that God is here in the midst of it. If we can be open to finding God in this way then we can let go of some of our fears and discover a new freedom that results from trusting in God.

3 thoughts on “Tuesday, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

  1. Hi. I just signed up to receive your blog in my email the other day, but I haven’t received anything yet. I did confirm my subscription. Any help would be most appreciated. God bless.

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    1. Susan, glad you will be following my blog. At the moment I’m doing one or two a week. The next one is scheduled to be published Monday, February 13 and then another on Friday. If you don’t receive them let me know. Bill

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