Sunday, June 05, 2016

They Will Be Satisfied

“Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there.”  1 Kings 17:3-4

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Matthew 5:6-9

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm drivin' in my car
And the man comes on the radio
He's tellin' me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to drive my imagination
-      Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Elijah was hungering for righteousness.  The Lord was competing with the pagan god for the devotion of the people.  Hopefully, the drought – or its end – would help people to turn to the Lord for their needs instead of Baal. 

In the interim, once the drought was declared, the Lord provided for Elijah’s basic needs with water from the stream and food delivered by the birds. Although this was a meager existence, Elijah knew that his reward – if he could endure – would be greater in heaven than on Earth. 

The righteousness sought by Elijah and the beatitudes is obedience and conformity with God’s will, not our own.  If we seek our own will, that is not a prescription for satisfaction.  If we accept God’s plan and put on His spirit, we can be instruments of mercy and justice in the world.

How readily would we follow the Lord’s commandments in times of trouble?  Yet how easily do we succumb to the latest seduction delivered to us from the likes of the world’s advertising agencies?  Maybe Jesus should have recruited David Ogilvy and his 13 lessons rather than Moses or the twelve disciples.   

While I am sure we will never hear the dulcet sounds of Mick Jagger coming through the speakers at Mass, the point of his lyrics are that we will not be satisfied pursuing the white shirts and useless information doled out by the mainstream media or the Madison Avenue machine.  There must be something greater to pursue.

On earth, the promises and prophecies of Elijah and Jesus are no match for those of Ogilvy & Mather or Leo Burnet or McCann Erickson.  Afterward, though, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12) 

Be aware of what you are being sold today.  No place is safe, not even standing next to the gas pump or a public bathroom.  Ads are everywhere.  Carry your favorite verse from Matthew 5:1-12 as the source of your eternal satisfaction. 

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