Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Granted to You

Be amazed at this, O heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the LORD.  Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:12-13

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?”  He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.  To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  Matthew 13:10-12

Father, open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to your Word and help us to put love into action. Use our hands to work your healing touch on an injured and battered world.

Today’s Good News is NOT about money and wealth.  Rather it is about understanding the mysteries that were revealed.  The prophecy fulfilled in today’s reading is a negative prophecy – a prophecy which talks about “hearing but not understanding, looking but never seeing.”
Isaiah preached that the heart of the nation would grow coarse and gross, just as Jeremiah did in today’s first reading.  The solution is to open our ears, open our eyes and open our hearts.  Thus opened, the Lord has room to work his healing touch. 

If we spend too much time listening to the public media, we might be tempted to think that as the Dow Index, or the S&P 500, or the NASDAQ creep up to record levels, that success in the world would equate with how much a share of the money we get.
If we spend too much time reading the pages (printed or electronic) of news stories, our hearts might also grow coarse to the plight of the least powerful people in the world. 
That is not what this faith is all about.  This faith is not about the things we get but rather the knowledge that is given to us and what we do once we learn.  Faith in God.  Faith in each other.  Faith in ourselves.  These call on us to open up and respond to the needs around us, not to close up and focus only upon ourselves.
Recently, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that his state would provide shelter to some of the unaccompanied minor children who have recently come to the US from Honduras, Guatemala and other Central American nations.  The temporary shelter will last until the courts decide what the outcome of their undocumented entry into the US will mean for the future.  In addition to his patriotic reasons for taking this step to welcome the strangers among us, Governor Patrick also said:
“The other reason I have offered our help is more personal, less about patriotism and more about faith.  I believe that we will one day have to answer for our actions -- and our inactions.  My faith teaches that "if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him," but rather "love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt."  (Lev. 19:33-34).  We are admonished to take in the stranger, for "inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these," Christ tells us, "you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:43, 45).  Every major faith tradition on earth charges its followers to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated. 

He added, “I don’t know what good there is in faith if we can’t and won’t turn to it in moments of human need.  And I thank Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Borders and the many other faith and lay leaders I've spoken with for reminding me of that.”

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