The first reading puts a challenge before us – it seems that the selection of Jacob over Esau is done by deceit and is basically a situation of fraud. So, we have to discern its message and the cultural aspect of the eldest son having rights. There is something in the mix that one cannot ignore, and that is the role of mother – one who intercedes. What does she see? What has moved her to suggest this action? She may be challenging Isaac’s judgement, and perhaps she feels he is blinded in his heart. Maybe she believes that tradition must give way to a higher call?
I am not sure what the answers are to these questions but there are some answers when to read the gospel. The Pharisees are continually blinded by their own traditions and expectations. They are seemingly above the ordinary people, something that Jesus rejects outright. If we are drawn into a relationship with Jesus, then there must be and will be ‘change’. We cannot blindly follow the traditions of our forbears. We must place Jesus at our centre, and this changes how we live and act in our lives.
The suggestion is that following Jesus is ‘God–centred’ – that our response to our community, our family and our friends means new ways of being and acting. The analogy of ‘new wine’ is pertinent in that the prophets called the anointed one as one who will make all things new.
So, as we reflect today, may we be mindful of the place of Jesus in our lives and that his journey to the cross indicates what will be asked of us and what is required. The gifts that flow are forgiveness, mercy, justice and compassion. May we be worthy carriers of his word in and through our deeds, our acts of kindness and our interactions with people on the road? “May the Passion of Jesus be always in our minds and in our hearts.”
Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.