Tuesday, November 23, 2010

God Rules with Justice and Faithfulness

November 23, 2010
Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

(Jesus) answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” (Luke 25:8-10)

For great is the LORD and highly to be praised, to be feared above all gods.
For the gods of the nations all do nothing, but the LORD made the heavens. …
God rules the peoples with fairness.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them. Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice
before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth, To govern the world with justice and the peoples with faithfulness.
(Psalm 96:4-5, 10-13)

These were uncomfortable times in the age of David as Jesus walked the dusty and poor roads of Palestine. Today is not any different. Pick up any paper for the bad news of today.

David’s words are very current: For the gods of the nations all do nothing. And Jesus’ warning to his friends seems ominous. It is all too easy to be lost in dreadful, frightening news. In an interview recently on American Public Media’s “Being,” Thupten Jinpa, a Buddhist scholar and former monk remarked that shocking stories make the news because, at heart, people do not expect such behavior and are appalled. His take on the media is that stories about kindness and goodness are foundational, probable and are, therefore, taken for granted. He believes that humanity still expects other humans to be good.

Jesus certainly expected it from those who chose to follow him and he knew just how difficult it would be for them. He knew of the dangers and wickedness of those who choose not to put God in their lives but, instead, choose gods of their own devising. But God has had another plan for creation, and for us, from the moment the LORD made the heavens. … God rules the peoples with fairness. (Psalm 96). And even in these uncertain times, the hope of the coming of the baby King is just around the corner. If the end times are not imminent, God’s love always is.

Do we expect good from each other? Jesus offered the choice to everyone who he encountered. Can we offer the choice, by expecting the best, from those we encounter? Can we look with eyes of love rather than suspicion?