Sunday, February 11, 2007

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jer 17:5-8
1 Cor 15:12, 16-20
Lk 6:17, 20-26

The things that matter, really matter, are all too often the things we seem to worry about the least. Look, for example, at the Superbowl last week. It was a big football game, a huge event, an excuse to party, but at the end of the day just a game. There were, I am certain, a great many people elated beyond reason that the Colts won, and just as many depressed beyond reason that the Bears lost. Far too much was invested, emotionally, in something that really doesn’t matter. Now, I am as guilty as everyone else. I spend far too much time wrapped up in the athletic exploits of the local university, their rise to football prominence and descent into basketball irrelevance, none of which really matters. That we would invest this time, energy, emotion, and treasure into things that do matter, caring for the poor, the homeless, the exploited, the vulnerable, the young, our families. We too often care about the trivial at the expense of the important. We lose sight of what, and of who matters. We put our faith and trust in the people who provide us with entertainment, instead of paying attention to those crying out for our help, and placing our trust in God. In the gospel reading Jesus challenges the people to rethink what is important. Blessed are the poor, but woe to the rich? Blessed are the hungry, but woe to those who have enough? Blessed are those who weep but woe to those who laugh? Blessed are those who are denounced for following God, but woe to those who are well liked? It all seems backwards. I suppose this means we all must give up everything, join a monastery or convent, and spend the rest of our lives beating ourselves up for our failures. Well, not exactly. What we need to do is remember what is important, and remember the One who matters. Wealth isn’t evil, what we do with it may be. Do we trust in it, use it for unimportant things, or do we use it to help those who do matter. Are we popular at the expense of what we believe in? Are we afraid to speak the truth because we fear the repercussions? Do we really trust God? In the end that is what everything comes down to, where do we place our trust, in God, or in the world? We should know by now that the world will always let us down, but we seem to need to learn and relearn that lesson over and over again. We must strive to remember, and live out, the words of Jeremiah, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord.”
Deacon John
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb. 11, 2007