When will the new moon be over? 

We’ve all been impatient. Maybe we’ve found it hard to get through those last couple of days of work before a vacation. Or we face a difficult chore and wonder, “When will it be over?”

That seems to be the Israelites’ attitude in our first reading. But what they were waiting to “be over” was the new moon festival, a celebration at the first of every month when the people put aside their work to spend time in worship with their families. The feast was supposed to help God’s people put him first, but that pause in trade seemed to be bothering them. They saw it as an inconvenient “speed bump” that hindered their goal of making money. Not only that, but such a religious festival stood in stark contrast to the dishonesty that many of them practiced.

Can you see why this would have displeased the Lord? The very celebration that was supposed to help his people learn to love God and one another had become burdensome to them.

We can all relate, can’t we? We know that God loves us and wants us to love him and put him first in our lives. We also know that he wants us to love and care for one another. But sometimes the “requirements” of faith seem burdensome. They become something to “get through” so that we can do what we really want. Think of those times when you hoped for a short homily at Mass or fidgeted during Adoration because you just wanted to get home!

At times like these, remember what a privilege and a blessing worshipping God can be! Remember how lifting your heart to the Lord also lifts your burdens. Remember how much he loves you and how worthy he is of your praise. Above all, remember that God is giving you a chance to encounter him. And that can soften your heart and change the way you approach your whole day.

“Lord, thank you for the privilege of worshipping you!”

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13


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