August 10, 2014
ORDINARY 19 (A)
Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt? – Mt. 14:31
HEADLINE: Energy Crisis Looms. World to go Dark? From The Boston Globe, 11/13/1857
EDITORIAL: The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too many crimes, too much violence & excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in the race, in spite of yourself. It’s an incessant strain to keep pace … & still, you lose ground, science empties its discoveries on you so fast you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is news seen so rapidly you’re out of breath trying to keep pace with who’s in & who’s out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can’t endure much more! The Atlantic Journal, 6/16/1833.
POEM: To whom shall I speak today? Brothers are evil, the companions of yesterday do not love. Hearts are rapacious, everyone seizes the goods of his neighbor.
To whom shall I speak today? Men are contented with evil, goodness is neglected everywhere. I am laden with misery through lack of an intimate. Egyptian hieroglyphic, c. 2,000 BC.
Does all this sound familiar? We may drive autos instead of chariots, but the human problems haven’t changed at all.
When we recite our litany of what’s wrong in today’s world, we tend to look longingly back at “the good old days,” not realizing that generations to come will probably look back at our time as “the good old days.” Every generation tends to see itself as living under the greatest stress & strain in human history, to dream dreams about some non-existent, less anxious age instead of joining forces to deal with the problems of their own time. The temptation is to either throw up our hands & wait for doomsday or pray for miracles.
After the Ascension, two angels asked the apostles “Why do you stand here looking up to the skies?” This question might well be addressed to us, for the power of the Holy Spirit came down on us at Pentecost. In our generation we are called upon to be witnesses to a God who is with us, who is in the midst of all our problems. If we are to overcome here & now, in this world of ours, it will be by the grace of God within us – not in the sky.
Looking at today’s Gospel, we night well ask if any of us would have exhibited a faith so strong as to have kept us from sinking. Is our faith strong enough right now to keep us from sinking beneath the weight of our problems? We are here, after all, not because we believe that Jesus can walk on water, but because of our faith in a God who has confirmed our hope ineternal salvation.
If our faith in God’s promise is real, we will rejoice with St. Paul that we are sent out to build up, not to destroy. We will rejoice as we go out to share the gift of God’s glory which Jesus has given us.
The secret lies in discovering the power of God’s love. The humanistic answer is too inadequate. Understanding & insight are not enough. We are pulled down by the fact of human sin. Unless & until the love of God breaks in to liberate us, we are destined to sink beneath the weight of it. AMEN!