Immersed in Christ: July 7, 2020
Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm tells us that idols are “the work of human hands. They have mouths but they cannot speak…. ears but they cannot hear.” But “the house of Israel trusts in the Lord” — who both speaks and hears, and enables us to hear and speak back (Psalm 115).
Hosea 8: 4-13 tells us that if we set up governments or churches — which are both intended to enhance the quality of life on earth — without listening to God’s purposes, they are in fact idols, and will be destructive. God says his own people
set up kings, but not with my consent, and appointed princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction…. They sow the wind, and they will reap the whirlwind.
Americans support government; and probably most support religion. But in both, are we listening to God with intention to respond to him? If not, both are “the work of human hands,” idols for our own destruction. If we are listening to God with intent to serve him, this will in fact, serve us also. But if we just want to serve ourselves without paying any attention to what God says is for our good, we will destroy ourselves.
We who attend church should ask ourselves constantly what we are looking for. Are we going because we want to “get something out of it” or because we are want to put something into it? Are we intent on serving God or hoping that God will serve us by doing us favors?
This is crucial in ministry. If public servants in church or government make idols of their own self-interest, they thwart our hopes and God’s.
In Matthew 9: 32-38 Jesus makes a mute able to speak by casting the demon out of him. He enables us all to respond to God by freeing us from the sin and selfishness that enslave us. He frees us from all that makes us unable to hear God’s words and speak in answer to them with words of decision and choice.
Jesus does this by “touring all the towns and villages” — being omnipresent on earth today in the members of his body — “teaching… and proclaiming” through us everywhere the “Good News” that God is moving to establish his reign of truth and love over every area and activity of human life on earth. With us, in us and through us as his body, Jesus is present and involved in religion, politics, business, education, social and family life. We are the “laborers sent out to the harvest.” Our ministry is to “cure” individuals and society of “all kinds of diseases and sicknesses” — to make all things whole again under the reign of God so that all might enjoy “life to the full.”
Initiative: Be a priest. Seek only to serve. Let Christ act through you.
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