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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

A Friend Who Builds Relationship

by Fr. David M. Knight

Monday, January 15, 2024

Week II in Ordinary Time

Lectionary No. 311

1Samuel 15:16-23; Psalm 50; Mark 2:18-22

"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?" Mark 2:19

Jesus changed rules into responses, and religion into relationship with God.

People thought Jesus’s disciples should fast because that was what religious people did. Religion was more about “what” you did than “who” you were.

Not for Jesus. He says religious acts have no value unless they are expressions of our personal response to God as Person. Jesus doesn’t want subjects, but partners. And he makes them his friends. “I do not call you servants any longer… but friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15). To blindly obey Jesus is non-Christian. Christians obey because we are one with him in mind and will and heart. As partners, not as servants. As friends, not as subjects.

For example, we don’t “go to Mass” as an obligation. We participate in Mass as an act of relationship, joining Jesus in the act of offering his body and ours to the Father for the life of the world.

If we don’t do this, we are not really there, no matter how much space our body takes up in the pew.

If this is “new wine” for you, change the “skin,” the understanding of religion, that keeps you from accepting it.

Friendship is interaction. Interact with Jesus and he will lead you into relationship with God.

ACTION: Every time you keep a rule, ask “Why?”

PRAYER: “Lord, be with me. Let me be with you.”

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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