Saturday, July 4, 2015

What is your favorite religious tradition? Do you know how that tradition came about? - Daily Reflections July 4,2015

We should not follow traditions blindly. Traditions have their contexts — they did not come from nowhere or were just a pigment of the imagination of our elders. They were experiences of faith. Knowing how traditions came about makes their celebration more meaningful.
       Fasting is one of those traditions. In the Jewish tradition, fasting is done as part of sacrifice and prayer. Jewish soldiers fast before they go to battle. Weakened physically but strong spiritually, they fight virtually on the sheer grace of God. Fasting makes the Jew more dependent on God than himself. Jesus knew the tradition of fasting. He fasted when He was growing up. His parents raised Him to be a good Jew. But since He had now started His ministry, He meant to proclaim the Good News of salvation. Part of that proclamation was to reveal who He was, teach the laws in their true spirit, and open the eyes of the Jewish leaders.
       Why did the Pharisees fast when He who is to come is already here? It was hard for the Jews to recognize Him as the Messiah. He gave them the parables of the new wineskin and cloth to remind them how closed their minds and hearts had been to new revelations from God. They had determined how God will come to them. They had relied more on themselves than on God.
       We are more fortunate than the Jews. Now, we need not worry about how and when the Messiah will come. Jesus is the Messiah. We had seen and heard Him. All we have to do is to know Him, love Him, and serve Him. He is our God. God knows what is best. Let us follow His will. Easier said than done, isn’t it? It is because we lack the faith to go with them. We again behave like the Jews waiting for the Messiah. We rather believe in ourselves. Maybe we need to fast. Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your favorite religious tradition? Do you know how that tradition came about? Try to do some research so you’ll appreciate more what you’re doing.
Lord, make me a disciple of love, not tradition.

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