Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Love God; love your neighbor. It seems so simple, so easy. And yet we make such an unholy mess of it, over and over again. Why? Why are we are so bad at love? Perhaps because we do not treat it as simple or easy. Yes, life is complicated. But love does not have to be, especially when it comes to our siblings and our Parent. The latter showers us with their love, even desiring to physically meld with us through the Eucharist. What do we do with this gift? We treat it like a reward for following our rules. But what if we stopped that nonsense, and instead made it simple and easy? What if we told our neighbors to just come and eat, and let grace do the rest? Would it tarnish God's love? Or might that love spread like wildfire? Where else might we suddenly find love to be simple and easy? And all this is possible, if we recognize that love is a measure of God's strength, not our own. Which makes love, especially when it comes to our family, the simplest and easiest of things to do.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Pharisees and Herodians did not approach Jesus out of concern that Caesar was stealing God's glory and honor. No, they were looking to protect their own wealth and power. But what about us? Are the motives for our interventions in today's conflicts between God and Caesar truly purer than those of our hypocritical ancestors? I have watched the religious freedom battles of the last few years with much amusement. I have particularly enjoyed the histrionics, by both God's and Caesar's defenders, surrounding the so-called contraception mandate. Yes, within a healthcare system designed to allow the few to make a profit from the illness and suffering of the many, who pays for birth control pills is the real threat to God's glory and honor. Yes, the Pharisees and Herodians are well represented even today. But for those willing to hear, our Brother's wisdom still rings true. So let us not get caught up in outrage over minutiae, and focus instead on that which is truly offensive to our Parent.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Many are invited, but few are chosen." So who exactly does the choosing, because God does not seem all that picky. Sure, she gets angry at the ones who turn down his invitation. But the only guy who actually gets thrown out of the party is the one who refuses to open his mouth. Otherwise, the "bad and good alike" are enjoying the feast. So again, who does the choosing? Corporate religion has claimed the job for eons, but volunteering to be hall monitor does not guarantee one the position. No, the truth is that we choose for ourselves, sans intermediaries. Right now, our Parent is preparing "for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines." A feast for all peoples, not just the ones who play by the clerical rules. A feast that is our birthright as sons and daughters of the King. So will you take your seat at table? And when you are challenged about your attire, will you boldly proclaim for all to hear, "I have chosen to dwell in the house of our Lord all the days of my life."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

How could the tenants in today's Gospel behave so atrociously? Did they think that the owner would let them get away with such mayhem? Did they somehow believe that they were irreplaceable? And are we really any different? Generation upon generation, we have taken the fruit of this planet to fulfill our desires, with little regard for the Landlord's intentions. We ignore sign after sign that we are doing evil to our family and to ourselves. Even those who see the truth fall prey to our anthropocentric lies; falsely believing that it is the vineyard that is in mortal danger. No, it is we the tenants who face that wretched death. And there is no shortage of siblings waiting in the wings to replace us. Our family is not limited to one minor species of talking monkeys. Nor are we the favorite child, as depicted in the fantasies of corporate religion. Our Parent will happily lease this kingdom and its bounty to another people, unless we wake up and see that we are not the artists of this world, free to use it however we might will, but merely the audience for a grand master and their most magnificent work.