Friday, February 15, 2013
Obedient or Selfish?
In Isaiah 58:1-9, we hear of our Lord's disatisfaction with those who claim the practise of religion but who in fact are busy serving themselves. These people complain and wonder why God does not answer their prayers. They are blind to the fact that they are so self serving. Their selfishness is such a part of who they are that they can scarcly believe that all that they want, desire, or think is not in accord with God's Divine Will. In other words they foolishly believe that God is OK with all that they do, with the way they live their lives. Millions of people today are living the same lie. Fallen away Catholics, Part-time Catholics, Cultural Catholics, Christmas and Easter Catholics and the millions of others who claim to be Spiritual not Religious. These could just as easily say "I am selfish not obedient". All are living the same lie, the same deception. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI recently said that those who refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit are foolish to think that they are not being influenced by other spirits. At the very least the spirit of selfishness is oporative in these people who think only of themselves. The beauty of our God is that He constantly is calling us back to Himself. Our God constantly calls us to a deeper more meaningful life. He calls us to live the fullness of life in Christ Jesus His Son. We see in the prophecy of Isaiah that the fullness of life is found clearly in serving the poor, the marginalized, the abandoned, and those who are so in need of liberation. In other words serving others takes us out of ourselves, out of our selfishness. Serving others is an exhausting business. None can do so for very long without help. Help that comes from God alone. Strength that comes from God alone. Living unselfishly puts us then in right relationship with others, and of course with God. The result of this choice to be obedient to God's Will is three fold. Our lives will be illumined with God's Love and Mercy. Our wounds will be healed quickly, and we will come to understand and know that God answers all our prayers. Lent is about choosing to love as God calls us to love. Lent is about living the fullness of life given to us, promised to us in the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is about submiting ourselves to His Holy Will which is Love and Mercy itself. It is about serving others, serving God and not serving ourselves. The spiritual know nothing of this. They know nothing of the deepest longing of their own hearts. Let our obedience be a witness to them this Lent. A witness to the joy that comes in serving. May our service break the bonds of their selfishness. That they may know what we know and share our joy. That their wounds be quickly healed. That they know and believe in the love God has for them and be free.