+Peace and goodness to you today!
There is something about us as human beings, that makes us develop routines. We start doing something one day, one way, and it sticks with us. The next thing that you know we’re doing the same thing every day the same way. We call this a routine. Some people call it a “rut” or a “habit”. If you do enough of the same things every day, we call it “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” or OCD. But we all have our own habits and routines. I know people who eat the exact same cereal for breakfast every day for years. They never change it up. I have a friend of mine who has worn the same kind of shoes his entire life. Over the years, we just get into routines. I myself have suffered a great loss recently. You see, every peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I have ever eaten or made in my lifetime has been made with white Wonder bread. And believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over the years. Imagine my horror, sheer horror, when I went to the grocery store last October and they didn’t have Wonder bread? You know, I saw the news reports about Hostess going out of business, and read about it in the paper, it didn’t bother me so much, because we can all live without Twinkies, and Ding Dongs and Fruit Pies. In fact, we can probably live longer without those things. But I didn’t know that Hostess was part of Intercontinental Baking that also made white Wonder bread! Why didn’t they tell us that in the paper! Peanut butter and jelly will never be the same again. Actually, I guess they sold the recipe to some bakery in Mexico, so Wonder bread will return. I haven’t had a real peanut butter and jelly sandwich since.
You get my point, we all get in routines.
The good people of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, also got into routines, especially in their ways of thinking. Today our Gospel gives us the Part 2 of last week’s story of Jesus’ going home to Nazareth. And today’s installment doesn’t go near as well as last week’s. The people of Nazareth don’t understand. Who is this guy saying these things in their synagogue? It looks like Jesus, the carpenter’s boy, but today Jesus isn’t sounding like Jesus, and they can’t handle it. You see, the good people of Nazareth thought that they had Jesus all figured out. They had watched him grow up. They had him repair their furniture. Their kids went to school with Him. They knew all about Jesus. Their vision and experience of Jesus was so routine that they couldn’t see Him in any other way. So when Jesus starts talking about all the things that God isn’t going to do for them, because they are too close minded, the townsfolk get mad. It doesn’t help that Jesus brings up the widow from Zarephath and the leper Naaman from Syria either. Both of these stories are two sore points for the Hebrew people, where their God helped foreign people over them. They are so confused over Jesus and what is going on, they are so upset about their nice stereotype, that they want to throw Jesus off a cliff! And these were nice people! Have you ever thought about what if Jesus showed up here today, and He was so challenging to all of us, that He called us out of our routines, and prejudices, and stereotypes, that we too wanted to throw Him off a cliff?
Most especially, Jesus really challenged the religious people of His day. He called them to get out of their ruts, their routines, and their usual way of doing things. Jesus asked them to leave behind their prejudices, their pre-conceived notions, and their stereotypes. Today He asks the same thing of all of us. We can’t stay the same. We can’t keep thinking the same old ways. And this is tough for us as Catholics because we like our routines. The problem is this, when our Faith becomes only a routine, something is terribly wrong. We’ve got to change it up. We’ve got to do some things differently. We’ve got to try some new ideas. We cannot stay the same. On-going conversion means that every day we are giving God the chance to change us. We can’t do that if we keep God locked up in our own little boxes of Who He is and what He can do. We’ve got a big God. Sometimes we just need to let Him be as big as He really is!
Don’t try to limit God. Don’t let your routines limit you. Our God is big enough for everyone!
+ May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…AMEN !!!
+ St. Maria Goretti …Pray for us !!!