Sunday, September 25, 2016

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Woe to the complacent in Zion!" It is doubtful that anyone reading this actually identifies with the rich man. We are people of God, not Pharisees. We "pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness." We would never knowingly ignore Lazarus or his kin. But none of that lets us off the hook, for we are just as susceptible to complacency as are the gluttons and the hedonists. There will always be more oppression and hunger than we can ever possibly satisfy. We know better than most that our Parent is the only one who can meet our siblings' needs. So it is easy to convince ourselves that we are giving enough, helping enough, doing enough. But an ivory bed is an ivory bed, no matter how well-meaning its occupant. Let us challenge ourselves ruthlessly, so that when we meet Lazarus and his kin, we can honestly tell them that we did our best to be good brothers and sisters.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Never will I forget a thing they have done!" Let these words burn into your soul, that they might haunt you both in the voting booth and long after election day is over. Ask yourself honestly, "Whom will my candidate serve?" And if the answer is something other than our Parent and our family, then what? A retreat into the comforting arms of "lesser of two evils" logic, "chicken or fish" rationalizations, and/or "best of bad options" strategies? Or a step down the painful path of voting one's conscience? No, the politics of mammon will not be altered by a single vote, but your soul can certainly be transformed, for better or for worse. So examine your ballot and ask yourself honestly, "Whom will I serve?"

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

These are probably not the readings we would like to hear this day, but perhaps they are the ones that we need. They set a mirror in front of our souls and dare us to be honest about what we see. Have we been faithful to our Parent and our siblings these past fifteen years, truly faithful? Or have we become a collective version of the Prodigal One, full of arrogant certainty that we know better than the Divine? How has that worked out for us, or for our family? Is it everything we dreamed it would be as we cried ourselves to sleep at the end of that September day? Or have we woken up to find ourselves sitting in the muck like the swine? How can we rise up unless we admit that we have fallen down? Is today the day for truth, or do we need another decade? Yes, it is good news that God is very patient.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

God first. That is the path of discipleship. To those enamored of the empire of the here and now, such a request is cruel and unusual. But to we who seek our refuge in the kingdom, how could we exist any other way? How could we not hate the timid human notions of family? How could we not renounce the burdensome weight of mammon? Yes, we are hypocrites and failures, who remain ever ignorant of our Parent's intentions. But we hunger for our cross, and that has made all the difference.