Posts Tagged ‘New Law’

Matthew 15:1-20: The Tradition of the Elders

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Written on April 24, 2008  and posted today as a Favorite.

I wish I had more time to sit with this today.  Since I do not, I promise myself that this evening, when dinner is done and the papers graded, I will turn back to this before falling asleep.  I love when Jesus has to explain things to his disciples.  It makes me feel less silly!  When the people who lived, and walked, and worked and played with Jesus get things wrong, I do not feel so bad when I do as well.

Footnotes from the NAB tell us this dispute about the washing of hands before eating was more than a struggle about the rules.  Jesus points out the hypocrisy of these elders who pledge to take care of their own parents but who do not.  They accuse others of being slackers when they themselves truly are. Jesus escalates things a bit as he poses new thinking about the Mosaic Law concerning clean and unclean things.  He, as the New Law, embodies God’s Word to us, incarnates the Law of Love for us.

At this time of year we are always reading from Acts of the Apostles – and I love this – because we see the young church struggling to form itself as the bride struggles to ready herself for union with the groom.  And today’s reading is chapter 15 verses 7 to 21.  It dovetails nicely with the challenge we reflect on in Matthew 15.  When newness happens, it will be accompanied by conflict.  This is not a bad thing.

I am looking at the morning intercessions in MAGNIFICAT.

To you we turn!  Hear us!

You are our stronghold in time of trouble: grant us the wisdom and the courage to place out trust in you.  To you we turn!  Hear us!

You are our defender against all evil: teach us always to call upon you in prayer.  To you we turn!  Hear us!

You have delivered your people from death by the power of the cross: strengthen us to bear one another’s burdens in love.  To you we turn!  Hear us!


Image from: http://heartofflesh.wordpress.com/2007/09/02/mans-religion/

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.24 (2008). Print.  

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Romans 6:1-11: Seek Freedom from Sin: Seek Life in God

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today’s reading is Paul’s defense against the idea that to live as Jesus lived is to live without regard for the Law of Moses or without regard for Jesus’ own act of fulfilling that Law.  This new covenant does not promote moral laxity; rather it brings the opportunity to live a full life of union with the law, with the spirit of the law more than the letter.  Paul also goes on to remind us that we all receive the gift of resurrection through Christ.  He delineates ably an argument to those who say that life in Christ and in the Spirit lacks morality because it forgives . . . he shows us that life in Christ is the exemplar of morality . . . if being lived well.

So many times we forget that we ought to tend to our spiritual health as assiduously as we do our physical, emotional or mental health.  We practice yoga, eat organic food, look for advice, and forget to make a stillness in our lives where we can best listen to the voice which speaks within.

Humans so often seek to separate and divide.  God always seeks to unify.  God brings us freedom from a life of division.  He brings us life in Christ and union in the Spirit.  Jesus came to live with us as God’s Word.  Christ remains among us as God’s Spirit.  Christ lives in us, in spite of us, always with us, ever keeping us in God’s love.  Life in God is freedom, freedom to become our best potential, freedom to fulfill God’s best dream for us.  Let us seek freedom to live in God.

Adapted from a Favorite written on November 6, 2017.

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Judges 4Deborah and Barak

Salomon deBray: Jael, Deborah and Barack

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Today’s story from Judges is different from yesterday’s, and it might show us that unity may be easier to achieve than the division into which we so easily slip.

The Book of Judges is good for us to read when we think we will never exit our cycle of sin and repentance; we see the Jewish nation struggle with independence just as we do when we mature in years.

We can find solid commentary in a good study Bible that will expland our understanding. Or we may explore http://www.Chabad.org http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/463964/jewish/Deborah-and-Barak.htm?gclid=CjwKEAjwvYPKBRCYr5GLgNCJ_jsSJABqwfw7AVII8ddJeZB3EcomDvzeudwTLpnQUYcxSrdGaV5jFBoCp0vw_wcB

We might also enter a discussion or ask questions on this site.

The stories in Judges are so often cited as a justification for holy war; yet as Christians we know and try to understand that retaliation has no place in the New Law.  As believers living in exile, we know that the faithful need not fight.  We have learned that God will make way for the faithful, and that God will be a refuge for those who try to follow in God’s Way.  As Jesus people, we will follow the voice where it leads, and we will put hands, and feet and words into the Hope that Christ calls us to live out.

From MAGNIFICAT today: The unity for which Christ lived and died is not an abstract ideal.  It is the result of hard work: suspending judgment, choosing others before self, forgiving, seeking reconciliation rather than nursing hurt pride.  In other words, it requires that we die to self in Christ.  The fruit?  The blessing of God’s peace!

This is followed by Jeremiah 31:10-14A canticle of celebration . . . the virgins will dance and strike their tambourines, young men and old will be merry, and God’s people will be filled with God’s blessing. 

The morning intercessions reflect on a message of healing the world through devotion, a message we can well use today.

Let us pray according to Christ’s will: Make us one in mind and heart.

For all the church: in the midst of difference and diversity: Make us one in mind and heart.

For all who believe in your name: in the midst of our divisions: Make us one in mind and heart.

For all who live in opposition to one another: in the midst of our conflicts and misunderstandings.  Make us one in mind and heart.


Adapted from a reflection written on June 10, 2008.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 10.6 (2008). Print.  

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