Today’s Thoughts: There is an eerie warning in the readings of scripture today on this Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time considering the events that have taken place the past few days and months. As much as we might like to deny it or rationalize it or rap it in different paper God’s focus, God’s power, God’s mercy and God’s presence is always found in and given life in the humble, the weak, the despised, the foolish, the poor, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted. Not in the powerful, the strong, the worldly wise, the important and the self-centered. God’s Kingdom will be built and populated by the blessed, the faithful remnant, found in our readings today.
It has been interesting to me these last few weeks how self-centered we have become as a nation and as a Church. Perhaps it is nothing new, it has simply just manifested itself more in recent weeks. I have read some of the debate centering on the inauguration, the Women March and the March for Life and what I do not understood is why do we always make things a competition? My inauguration is bigger than yours. My march is bigger than yours. My march is more important than yours. My march should be covered on TV more than yours. My march is more focused than yours.
If we believe in freedom. If we value each individual’s words and beliefs as important. If we believe God has given us free will. Then why must we always question what others do? Why must everyone see things as I do? Why can’t everyone march, if they so choose to, for what they deeply believe and are deeply passionate about?
If what we value. If what we have a passion for. If what we march for. Is or is not covered by the media. What is the difference? Have we forgotten that if we look for our reward and recognition in this life then we lose it in the life to come? We seem to be highly skeptical of the media today then why do we want them there? Is it the media that give value to our passion, our belief? If we go to an event. If we march for a cause. Does size matter? If our cause does not seem to be making a difference is it because it is not on TV? Or is because that outside the moment we march we don’t live the message?
Our readings today are a warning. Particularly for us in the United States but also the world. Our readings tell us that many things that we put such importance on are not where God is or will be – power, importance, strength, worldly wisdom, money, possessions, and selfishness. It is the blessed of our Gospel, it is the humble of the Prophet Zephaniah’s words, it is the weak, the foolish and the lowly of St. Paul’s world, who point us towards God and who will welcome us into the Kingdom if we like them we choose to let go and let God. It is the meek, the humble, the merciful, the peacemakers, the clean of heart and the justice seekers who in the end will live in the eternal Kingdom. It is those who don’t whine, cry and think selfishly about the challenges, struggles and persecutions of life that will ultimately be regard as great in the Kingdom.
If we are truly people of faith, then life is not just about birth. It is about bringing all that God creates into a world that values them not just in the womb but throughout their whole life. It is about bringing life into the world and then being humble, compassionate and merciful so that all life will be cared for, welcomed, fed, receive medical care, be free to worship and be passionate about life. Life is never just about “me” it is always about “us.”
Have a great Sunday everyone and don’t forget to give God a little time!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...