October 4, 2015
ORDINARY 27 (B)
Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it. – Mark 10: 15
Children are all too aware of their weakness & vulnerability vis-vis adults. Perhaps that is the reason most cannot wait to grow up – so they can shed their dependency & the restrictions that go with it. Unfortunately, what all too often replaces it is the illusion (perhaps delusion would be better) that we are self-sufficient.
I think this emotional drive is at the root of man’s rebellion against God – we fear having to trust, as children must. So often as children [& later as adults] our trust is manipulated, violated, or abused, & somewhere along the line we become cynical & fearful, for if we can trust no one, we feel abandoned.
The story is told of a wealthy American who was touring Europe & came across a performance by an aerialist, a high-wire tight rope walker. He was so impressed by the man that he followed him around. He watched him do his thing between tall buildings, between high hills, & across rivers. Finally, he approached the man & offered to pay all expenses if he would do his high-wire act over Niagara Falls. The man agreed & the stage was set.
Not only was he successful in traversing the great distance, he did it with an empty wheelbarrow to boot. Then he came back across to his point of origin. He then said to the benefactor, “Do you believe now that I can do it?” “Yes,” said the benefactor. “But do you really believe?” said the aerialist. “Of course I do,” replied the sponsor. “Then,” said the aerialist, “get in the wheelbarrow.”
Despite God’s demonstration again & again throughout history that He can indeed do it, that He can show us the way out of our self-created mess, we feel rather like that wealthy man when it comes to taking God at His word. Though we may say we believe, putting our life on the line & making a genuine commitment is another matter. And we’re paying a very high price for our refusal.
This is Respect Life Sunday, & the fact that we even have to have a day dedicated to such a theme speaks volumes. Our refusal to trust God has landed us in the so-called culture of death, which extends beyond abortion & euthanasia: we no longer respect any form of life unless it is our own, but in too many cases not even then. Child abuse, spousal abuse, & self-abuse in the form of a host of addictions abound, & we lamely ask, “Whatever happened to the family?”
My friends in Christ, we no longer have the luxury of letting George do it, or of hoping against hope that things will somehow sort themselves out. If we do not get our own act together, there will be no light in the darkness. The old Christopher’s motto applies here: “It is better to light one candle, then to curse the darkness.”
If behooves each & every one of us to do their level best to see to it that the candle of our life is lit up by Christ, so that the rest will not think that the darkness is the norm. It may be scary at times, like climbing into that wheelbarrow, but God has never let down His faithful ones yet, not even when it leads to the cross! AMEN!