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HELP US TO LEAD OTHERS TO HEAVEN

Father Francis's picture
Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 18:20-39 & Mt. 5:17-19

Traffic laws have been drawn up for very good reasons, for our safety, for respecting the rights of other drivers as well as our own, and for the welfare of pedestrians. They are the result of common sense, courtesy and respect for others. Abiding by them leads to fewer accidents; breaking them will most certainly increase the frequency of injuries and death.

In the same way God's laws are also for our safety and welfare. They are intended to help us reach our destination. God wanted the people of Israel to follow His directions, but king Ahab had chosen a different route. He was responsible for leading some of God's people astray and encouraging them to worship pagan gods. Elijah the prophet was sent to urge the people to turn back from the road which was leading them to disaster and show them the way which would lead them to the true God. Evidently they needed something dramatic to convince them of the truth, and so God helped Elijah with a spectacular miracle.

lf Elijah and the prophets can be said to have given us a highway code, it is Jesus who gives us our direction signs. He tells us in the Gospel that He has come to complete and perfect the teaching which the prophets began. Elijah spoke to his own generation, but the teaching of Jesus is for all time. We need to know how to behave on our journey, but we also need to know just where we are going.

Jesus is the way and He will lead us to the kingdom. If we are trying to follow Him, we are then setting an example to others. It is not always easy to keep the laws, especially when so many people around us seem to be breaking them and getting away with it. This applies to driving and sometimes it takes something dramatic, like Elijah's miracle, or a multiple pile-up, to make people realise their mistake. And it applies to the way we live our Catholic lives.

Jesus asks us to be prophets in our own generation. He gives us this important responsibility, to keep the Commandments and to teach them to others by our example. If we live as Jesus wants us to live, then people will see that it is possible to keep God's laws. If we behave selfishly or recklessly, then we give the wrong signals to other people and at the same time we diminish ourselves. Christian living, like good driving, is something we all have to learn, and then share with others.

Lord Jesus, give us the grace to absorb Your teaching, so that in making our journey to Heaven we may lead others along with us. Then, as You say, we shall be great in Your kingdom.

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