- Yesterday’s gospel reading (Matthew 9:36 – 10:1 – 8) includes what appears to be, at first instance, an odd directive to Christ’s disciples. Why does Christ say “ go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter into no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel?”
- Christ, as teacher, was well acquainted with Scripture. He would have known that both Gentiles and Samaritans were considered ritually unclean. Therefore in order to overcome any objections that may have been raised by the Jews that they could not communicate with his disciples due to their associations with unclean peoples, Christ forbade them to do so.
- This does not mean that Christ himself had issues with ritual cleanliness. What it means is that Christ gave the Jews every opportunity of accepting God and himself as the Son of God so that they could not use as an excuse that they could have no contact with his disciples because they were ritually unclean.
- Isn’t that the way with most of us? We all look for excuses to avoid doing the things we do not want to do. The reality is that we will find any excuse – plausible or otherwise to reject something. And here’s the thing: Christ having given them every chance to embrace him now will turn to you and me and becomes our Shepherd to everlasting life. The question now is do we find an excuse to avoid Christ?
- Yes, how many of us are like the Pharisees, always thinking of reasons not to engage with Christ. Christ has removed all obstacles so the choice is now stark. Do we find an obstacle to put between our relationship and Christ or do we fall into his arms in total surrender? The choice is ours.
Around our Church
The program this week is as follows: 7 PM adult Bible study (note that on the first Tuesday of each month we commence Bible studies 15 minutes later); Saturday divine liturgy in English.
We need more blankets. Double and single – preferably unused. Also kitchen basics, thank you.
Thought of the Week
Thought of the week : we humans demonstrate the greatest expressions of our ingenuity in the finding and making excuses as to why something is beyond our reach. Instead, of being content in our deficiencies, why do we not aspire to reaching the “ one step” above and beyond our goal? Cast aside fear and what was impossible now becomes possible.
Till next time.
Fr John Athanasiou 0411061554