Friday, October 27, 2006

reflection on today's Lectionary readings

Ephesians 4:1-6
Psalm 24: Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Luke 12:54-59

These words of Jesus in my mind speak a lot to our society today, especially the Western world: if only our expertise and knowledge of our physical world were matched by our expertise in living the spiritual and moral life how better off we will all be.

We as a society are endowed with many scientific and technological knowledge and skill. The abundance of knowledge we have on science, biology, astronomy, physics, and other subjects is tremendous. But still, living in peace and charity, eludes us. This is partly what Jesus meant when he said “You know how to interpret weather, the things on earth, then why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”

I think if Jesus were to address our society today, he’d say something along those lines: your technological advances and knowledge are to be praised, but how come you have not found the way to peace and charity, in your homes, in your neighborhoods, between nations? How come?

I think Pope Benedict, based on previous statements his made touching on this matter, would answer that question by saying that this is so because we have excluded God from our public life.

In his homily in Munich, Germany on Sept. 10, Benedict said:

“People in Africa and Asia admire indeed the scientific and technical prowess of the West, but they are frightened by a form of rationality that totally excludes God from man’s vision as if this were the highest form of reason and one to be taught to their cultures too. They do not see the real threat to their identity in the Christian faith but in the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom and that holds up utility as the supreme criterion for the future of scientific research.”

If that is the explanation, then that means each one of us is the answer because each one of us has made God a part of our daily life and we have not excluded God in our lives--"the one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all," using Paul’s words from today's first reading. We are witnesses to the fact that living in peace and joy and love in this world is integral to being human, to being alive.

That is the message we help carry to people around us just by our living in faith: a massage authentically proclaimed by "the people that longs to see God’s face."

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