Where the good things are

– Wednesday of week 12 in Ordinary Time –

“Are grapes gathered from thorns…?” Matthew 7:16

Today’s gospel delivers a healthy dose of reality to my somewhat idealistic heart. I’m the kind of person who wants to see the good in everything and everyone. I often find myself excusing and compromising, in order to still see the good and ignoring the reality of the situation because I had assumed that the intention was good. But good intentions only get you so far…

Humanity as a whole often finds itself looking for the right things in the wrong places. We are naturally inclined to search; we seek meaning, depth, purpose and love. Yet we are easily misled by the world around us, often settling for good enough – because good enough is still good right? No.

We were made for all that is truly good, beautiful and true. In today’s gospel, Jesus is asking us to step back from situations and circumstances that we convince ourselves are good enough and to look at it from the perspective of heaven – a.k.a. reality. Jesus asks the question, “Are grapes gathered from thorns?” Absolutely not, and yet how often do you and I place ourselves amongst the thorns, attempting to collect grapes to turn into wine? Jesus is asking us to go where the good things are; to not excuse, compromise and inevitably settle for what we convince ourselves is good enough. He is inviting us into a deeper sense of reality so that we may be able to distinguish between all that is good, true and beautiful, versus the cheap and shallow substitutes of the world. The more we can make this distinction for ourselves, the easier it is for us to also lead those around us to all that is good, true and beautiful.

by Anne-Marie Williams

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