Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Why do we find it so hard to do God's will? Perhaps because our Parent says to us, "humbly regard others as more important than yourselves." We want to do good. We want to live righteously. But we do not want to put ourselves last. I recently saw an advertisement for a campaign to end childhood hunger. It asked us to dine out at a restaurant. That is the American Way. Do good without having to sacrifice a thing. Live righteously while embracing all the fruits that capitalism has to offer. We say "yes" to God with the best of intentions, but we have not yet set foot in the vineyard. We might stare at it from across the fence, but who dares to enter, if doing so means "taking the form of a slave"? It all seems so very unfair. But is it? Is the path of greed really more fair than the path of grace, even if the latter demands obedience to a cross? Well, the good news is that it is never too late to make the right choice; the even better news is that doing so cancels out all of the prior wrong ones.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

What about the foreman? Did he try to talk the landowner out of being so generous? Did he grumble as he handed over the wages? And what would he have done if the landowner had not been on the scene? Who could possibly condemn the poor fellow if he refused to follow his master's instructions out of fear of squandering the resources entrusted to him? So I can understand why the Church acts so stingily when it comes to the sacraments, especially Eucharist. But it is also clear to me that God does not care if one of their children receives more grace than he or she has happened to earn at any particular moment. Our Parent desires to be close to all who call upon them, regardless of the caller's worthiness or cleanliness. So let us be a good foreman and pay our siblings their wages.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life." How many of us see our Parent's generosity as an invitation to join the new chosen tribe? Do we think that the Israelites just bitched too much on their way to the promised land, so God decided to replace them? How much death and destruction has its source in our belief that the Divine One has a favorite child? We may not agree on which child that is, but most of us seem willing to bet that there is a favorite, and that we should all do what he says. I say to you that such notions insult the sacrifice that our Brother made upon that lovely cross. He became one of us, and died as one of us, so that we might know that our Parent anxiously awaits our arrival at the eternal banquet. And this home is not just for the one or the many, but for all of us, even those who forget or refuse to acknowledge the wondrous works of our Lord.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do not assume that Ezekiel's and Jesus' advice is meant for you. It is just as likely, if not more so, that the intended recipient is your neighbor. Few among us want to see ourselves as participants in wickedness and sin, but we are, and if we love our neighbors, we will listen to them when they speak disconcerting truths. "If today you hear their voice, harden not your hearts."