Daily Reflection
October 14th, 2004
Marie Hilton
Campus Ministry
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As a child growing up in a family of eleven, my Mom had certain tasks for each day of the week - Monday and Thursday were wash days, Tuesday ironing and baking day, Wednesday was cleaning day, and etc.  This was very much needed to have some kind of order in a household that size! However, once we were older Mom shared that she regretted that she held so fiercely to this regiment too many times.  She recognized early on the missed opportunities to just be with her children - to get to know them and them her. 

Similar to this, as coordinator of liturgies, I find myself at times, so focused on the many details of a liturgy that I miss the opportunities of being present to the very people I am there to minister!

In the gospel we hear Jesus coming down hard on the Scholars of the law! 
    "Woe to you, scholars of the law!  You have taken away the key of knowledge. 
    You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."

Jesus wanted more from the scholars than their knowing about God - he wanted them to "know" God - to experience God!  and to share their experience with others. 

A biblical sense of the “knowledge of God” is an intimate relationship, a total self-giving which is open to life.  It is what stands behind Jesus’ invitation to know him.  Sounds to me as though the scholars were using only their heads - they had the means to know God but not the willingness to open themselves to the opportunities of life - to a relationship with Jesus!   They were so focused on the “laws” (the externals) that instead of the laws being the means to a relationship with God they became obstacles.  Not only for themselves but for others also.

The key to the knowledge of God is to be open to the grace of God in our everyday lives - to experience and recognize God acting in our lives and in others lives.  To know God is to have our hearts open to God’s out pouring grace found in the people, places and events of our everyday life!  This takes relating with others – forming relationships!  When externals become more important than people, we have definitely missed the opportunity to deepen our “knowledge” of God… or missed becoming a mediator of God’s grace!

This is what Jesus wanted from the scholars in the gospel.  This is what Jesus wants from us.

So I ask myself – what are the
laws” or barriers that stop me from entering or deepening my relationship with others?  With God?
    Are they in the form of unrealistic expectations I hold for myself?  For others?
    Or is it my strong independence or stubbornness that gets in the way?      
    Or my need to prove myself?  Or my claimed busyness?

And as I reflect I pray…. Ever Present God, open my heart to the graces of this day!

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