Immersed in Christ: June 30, 2020
Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm expresses confidence based on understanding of God: “You are no God who loves evil… But I, through the greatness of your love, have access to your house.” So we pray with trust, “Lead me in your justice, Lord” (Psalm 5).
Amos 3: 1-8, 4: 11-12 tells us God doesn’t try to hide from us his intentions or the principles that guide his actions. Two people who “take the road together” know where each intends to go. We know it means something when “the lion roars in the jungle” or “the trumpet sounds in the city.” So we should take seriously the warnings God gives us. God doesn’t “do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.” Why? Because the prophets are precisely God’s messengers to us. Theirs is the “ministry of light.” They are sent to open our eyes to truth we need to see.
We can refuse to listen to preachers or to take seriously the prophets. We can close our eyes to history and to the significance of what is happening around us. We can ignore God’s warnings. But we cannot reverse the sequence of cause and effect or stop the truth from being true. Sooner or later we will encounter the reality of all that we deny, because sooner or later we will have to confront God, and God is reality. By refusing to take seriously the truth of his words we are choosing to live in unreality. We can refuse to look ahead at the effects our decisions are going to have, but closing our eyes does not protect us from danger, as many an ostrich has learned, if the legend about them is true! Amos says to those who will not listen, “Israel, prepare to meet your God.” This says to us all, “Prepare to meet reality,” because sooner or later you will, whether you prepare or not.
Matthew 8: 23-27 reveals and reminds us of a reality we tend to forget: that God is still present and powerful, even when he appears to be absent and inactive. Jesus was asleep in the boat during a storm so violent the waves were actually swamping the boat. The disciples had enough sense to wake him up, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are going down!” But even they were not prepared for what he actually did. When he calmed the sea with a simple word, they were “astounded and said, ‘What kind of man is this?”
We know what kind of man Jesus is: God himself made flesh. But we still try to save ourselves by listening to every word but his. When we see we “are going down,” Jesus is not asleep; we are. We need to awaken each other through the “ministry of light” and rely on his word.
Initiative: Be a priest. Awaken yourself and others to hear God’s word.