Ever New, Ever Alive!

Reflection on the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 19)

By Fr. Neil McCaulley

The readings for this Sunday:
Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25
Ps 41:2-5, 13-14
2Cor 1:18-22
Mk 2:1-12

The full text of the readings can be found here.

God, Our Father, does not get old or tired. He does not lose interest in the human family, give up, or run out of ideas on how to save each of us. "See, I am doing something new!" We love new things. In fact, running after "the latest" can be a vice. Not so if we run after God’s new things.

Jesus is the ultimate example of being ever new and ever alive. In the gospel today people do run after him and He does not disappoint them. He teaches with authority, He forgives sins, He cures illnesses, while at the same time trying to get through to the religious authorities whose criticism He must endure.

Meanwhile the people are awestruck. They say they have never seen anything like Jesus, His words and works.

Today, everyday, God does new things. Try to discover them. Look for the summer God (as John Shea says) i.e. where things bloom in your life. If we have joy in the Lord, confident of His commitment, concern, power and plan, it makes it easier to strive to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. We have hope and that is a true source of divine energy.

We can look at the sex scandals in the Church, the lack of vocations, the lack of great leaders, the secularism, the materialism, the individuals, the hedonism, the betrayal of trust everywhere. Or we can look at the wonders of the world-wide community, the crowds of dedicated people, the many thousands of new lay leaders committed to the Church and the Kingdom. God is always doing something new. Jesus is always breaking in with salvation, healing, forgiveness, and divine teaching.

I really believe this. We don’t always see it but it is the truest thing. The Hound of Heaven still pursues the human family. He is still the heartbeat of Creation, The Omega Point of history and your savior and friend.

Lent is almost here. It is the spiritual Springtime of the Church when we prepare for and expect new life. Be open to the Holy Spirit and confident the Lord will guide you through the desert and the dark valleys and lead you and the Church and the human family to the banquet of life, here, and hereafter.