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. Oct 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

I will never let you go until you bless me

Gen. 32:22-32, Mt. 9:32-38. Today's first reading describes Jacob wrestling all night long with some unseen force. In the end, Jacob finds that he has been wrestling with God. For this reason he named the place “Peniel,” in Hebrew, “face of God.” He is amazed to have survived, “I have seen God face to face yet my life has been spared” — which conflicts with the established belief that nobody can see the face of God and live (Ex. 33:20). Jacob had his dramatic night-time struggle while returning from Haran to the promised land, eventually to be named “Israel” after him. In this divine encounter his future is foretold: “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” His future life was markedly different from his past and more clearly under God’s guiding providence.

For the rest of his life Jacob carried a notable limp after his wrestling with the angel. Sometimes we can no longer stand as strong as before, because of some life experiences. We may hear God’s call to us anew, asking us to make a new and different contribution to the life of others. In Jacob’s story we can find a new type of strength. For God chooses those whom the world considers foolish to shame the wise; he selects the weak to show new aspects of life to the strong. Our life finds its fullest realisation if we do not shun the struggle entailed. Thus, today's Gospel invites us to ask ourselves: “To what extent do I sense the presence of God around me, especially in the good other people are doing?” We can be prone to objecting to things and missing the good that is actually there. We can be more attuned to noticing what is wrong than what is right. What a contrast between how ordinary folk admired the miracles performed by Jesus and how the Pharisees scorned them. The people said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” The Pharisees said, “It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.” The people saw God at work in what Jesus was doing; the Pharisees saw Satan at work in Him. It is hard to imagine a more contrasting response. The people, in contrast to the Pharisees, were attuned to the presence and action of God in Jesus. While never being blind to evil and sin, we need to be open to how the Lord is at work in our lives and in the lives of others. Jesus was sensitive to the good in others, even when they failed to see it for themselves. We need to adopt that positive way of seeing things, and not highlight the negative above everything else.

May the Lord deepen His love in our hearts so that in all things we may find our good, and the good of others! Amen!! Good morning, Peace be with you!!!

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