Today’s Gospel: John 6:41-51
Jesus talked with many people during his ministry. In this particular passage, he was speaking to people who knew him. They knew his parents. They knew his roots.
They also knew his Jewish faith. These people were faithful followers of God. They knew the law, and they were serious about living it. This was not a crowd of heathen revelers unconcerned with right living. They were doing their best to show love for God by living the law correctly. They were the experts, concerned about correctness. They were living holy lives.
Yet here, Jesus calls them to something more. He tells them, “Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.”
In a recent homily, Pope Francis talked about these scholars of the law that Jesus addressed. They were taking the law seriously out of love for God, but they were so caught up in living correctly that they saw the law as an end in itself. “They forgot that God is the God of the law, but is also the God of surprises,” Pope Francis said.
Perhaps God’s greatest surprise was sending Jesus to walk among people as a way to restore our relationship with God. No one was expecting that, especially not the Hebrew girl that God chose to be Jesus’ mother. Her willingness to accept God’s surprise made God’s reconciliation with humanity possible. Aren’t we glad she was open to that surprise?
God’s revelation doesn’t always look the way we expect it to look. Open and vital faith leaves room for growth and allows God to reveal himself in ways that surprise us.
In what ways has God surprised you recently?
God, please help me not to become complacent in my faith. Help me to always keep my eyes open for your surprises and to welcome them as opportunities to grow in faith. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy