Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
How much do I trust God to be faithful to me? Do I have to earn God’s faithfulness? How often am I unfaithful to God when God has been consistently faithful to me? These are important questions that come to mind as I reflect on today’s Scriptures which cut to the heart of the deep and intimate connection between love and faith/trust.
How many of us have betrayed the trust of a loved one – or been betrayed – even to the extent of infidelity to a marriage or to a friendship? Keep in mind that infidelity doesn’t always mean cheating on someone, but may be simply and consistently taking a loved one for granted, that they will always be there and there is no need to put work into the relationship.
We do this with God. God is ever-faithful to us, yet at times – and maybe more than just ‘at times’ – we take God’s love for granted. We feel that it’s okay to occasionally forget that God is present and go ahead and do the things that we want to do. God does not see this as a betrayal of Him, but as a betrayal of our true selves, of who God created us to be. That’s why the true judge of our worthiness to enter the kingdom of heaven is not God, but ourselves.
What if God asked you today, “How do you judge yourself in being faithful to humbly and generously offering your time, talent and treasure to help those less fortunate, to those with greater need than you, those who are my Suffering Son still present in the poor, the migrant and the immigrant, those oppressed by racism and sexism, those abused because of their faith, gender or sexual orientation? How do you judge yourself in being faithful to the loved ones I have placed in your life, who have been there to love you into becoming who I have called you to be, and for you to do the same for them? How do you judge yourself?
As God called Abraham and Sarah, as God called all of the prophets and the saints to faithfulness in the midst of a selfish and self-absorbed world, so God calls us to bind ourselves to the One Who Is Eternal and Ever Life-Giving. We are to try our best to stay faithful even if the entire world gives in to greed and disregard for others. We are told to be present to those whom Jesus loves; to remember God’s fidelity to us, to remember God’s love and mercy and forgiveness. To return our trust for God’s love. Isn’t it worth the risk?
Gentle peace! Fr. Larry