5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
God our Father is the Divine Physician, the greatest doctor of both body and spirit in this entire universe. In Jesus Christ the Divine Surgeon has expertly removed the cancer of our sin, through the Scriptures the Divine Physical Therapist gives us our necessary exercises, and in the Holy Spirit, prayer and the Eucharist the Divine Nutritionist gives us the sustenance necessary to be strengthened for the task. God's love and mercy is that He provides all of this to us for free (who by no means deserve it and have no means of paying Him back). But God's love and mercy can't do it for us - we have to work with these gifts to reap the healing benefits that are freely offered. And in this treatment plan, we all, when we're totally honest with ourselves, know what our next step is. This week, let' start with our own personal next step of that treatment plan.
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Our first reading today foretells the coming of the Lord to the Temple, fulfilled in our Gospel when Mary and Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the Temple, according to Jewish custom, to present him to the Lord. But this Lord, says our first reading, comes to purify, like a refiner's insanely hot fire or a fuller's chemically harsh lye...and in both examples we are the thing that is being purified. God, like a good parent, wants to raise His children to be strong, mature, able, loving adults. The process is not magic, nor is it easy, nor can our Parent do it for us - it involves our own growth and maturation through the process of accepting the challenges and purification our Father offers. This week, instead of running from that purification or making excuses like, "It's just the way I am," how will we lean into God's purification and mature into the adult He knows we can be?