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What Is It That We Seek?

In today’s (Jan. 12, 2012) readings, we can see two different relationships with the Lord.  In the first reading, the Israelites battles against their enemy, the Philistines (who David will defeat in the future).  When the Israelites lose the battle, they decide that they lost because God was not with them in battle.   Their solution is to take the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them.  For them the Ark of the Covenant is the presence of God in this world.  Surely they will not be defeated with the Ark?

But they are!  Why?  I think that while they belief of God’s presence in the Ark was tied to their faith they weren’t really acting “in faith”.  The Ark of the Covenant contained the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments.  The Ark is a sure sign of God’s presence among us but it is not a “magic” solution to ensure victory.  It would be like a person wearing a Cross or carrying the Eucharist with them always (not allowed) thinking that nothing bad could ever happen to them just because they are wearing the Cross or carrying the Eucharist.

In the gospel reading, the leper comes to Jesus saying, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  The leper truly believes that Jesus has the power to heal him.  There is no doubt.  But the leper also trusts in what “Jesus wishes.”  He comes to Jesus in faith, trusting that Jesus will provide.

Do we come to Jesus seeking “magic” fixes to our problems or do we come to Jesus in faith, asking Him to fix our problems but ultimately trusting in whatever His will is, knowing that no matter what happens Jesus walks with us?

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

One Comment

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    Fr. Jeff,
    The readings were fascinating today! I had about the same reaction as you. It’s almost like the Israelites appealed to superstition or tribalism. Eli’s sons were most certainly not sincere. They were wicked men. How fitting this is for us today. We, as Catholics, who just a few decades had a true Catholic identity. The charge we often hear against our forefathers in the faith (Catholicism prior to the 60s) is that theirs was an insincere faith that depended too much on externals. I have no idea whether or not that charge is merited, but I do think the response has been disastrous. The remedy at that time was a universal call to holiness – a worthy goal indeed! However, in doing so, the externals, the rituals, the Catholic identity was discarded. And now here we are in 2012 and we have neither. We have lost our desire for God AND we have lost our Catholic identity (the Ark). At least that is what was going through my mind as I read it. I pray that God will restore our Catholic society so that we may again worship Him in spirit and in truth.

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