July 7, 2017
Abraham’s servant asked him: “What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?”
Abraham replied, “Never take my son back there for any reason,” Gn_23:1-4,19;24:1-8,62-67
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” Mt_9:9-13
If you ever went to a restaurant, beloved, and got some bad food, you might never want to go back to that restaurant again. Or if it was bad enough, you might not even want to eat that particular food again! We kinda learn through our experiences.
And if we ever trusted someone with a private matter, and then came to find out that the whole town knew, we’d begin to get a little more picky with whom we trusted and whom we didn’t.
Both Abraham and Jesus had to make some pretty important selections of people today: Abraham, in a wife for his son Isaac and Jesus in a strong disciple and follower.
Abraham knew that the stock that came from his lineage were good people. But he also knew that, if Isaac, who was God’s chosen son, was to go back to those people, they would definitely not have a very good influence on him. Maybe they would try to keep him from returning to his father. Maybe they would turn him away from God, to worship false deities and idols.
But either way, Abraham would absolutely not allow Isaac to return to his homeland. So he had his servant and messenger take an oath. And he trusted God to make it all work out. And work out it did.
But we still might wonder: if the people were not trustworthy enough to have Isaac sent there, how trustworthy could this woman, Rebekah, be? And the answer was: trustworthy enough for God.
The Pharisees wondered the same thing about Jesus’ selection of friends. Here, they considered themselves to be the “Holy Ones,” at least compared to the tax collectors and prostitutes. And there was Jesus, hanging around with those riff-raff and not them.
But maybe, just like God’s selection of Rebekah, Jesus saw something special in Matthew and Mary Magdalene that the Pharisees didn’t. Maybe Jesus saw the openness of their hearts, as opposed to the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts.
Maybe Jesus saw their need for God as opposed to the Pharisees’ having God as their “job.”
Funny how much more fulfilling a hobby is, because it fills a need, compared to a job whose sole purpose is just to make more money. We should never allow God to become our job, brothers and sisters. But He should always be there: in the fun of taking a clean, fresh breath, in the delicacy of perfect meal, in the enchanting sound of an aria, in the beauty of forgiveness and in the refreshment of healing.
Jesus didn’t come to puff up overfilled balloons. But he did come to bring hope to broken hearts and life to the lifeless lost.
And now it’s our turn to do likewise.
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