A couple of thoughts come to mind this morning reflecting on today’s readings.
“What if…” This is a simple phrase I’ve tried to teach my kids. Before you do anything that could cause harm, trouble, pain, etc., just simply ask yourself “what if?” and think about the results that could happen if you did that certain something you want to do. I’m drawn to that same thought with our readings for the Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent. “What if” I were to stop going to Mass or to confession? “What if” I lied and cheated in order to advance myself at work? “What if” I weren’t true to my marital vows? I see today’s readings talking about the faithful who have lost their way, who have refused to ask them self “what if” and live a life without the concern of God’s consequences. “What if” God doesn’t really exist? Then nothing really matters, does it , and what concern do we have of facing a God who’ll judge us after we die? But “what if” God does exist? Then ALL of this does matter. It IS necessary that I go to Mass, receive the sacraments, be an honest and faithful man, a loving spouse and father because if God does exist, I will be judged on everything I do – the readings today are screaming that to me. BUT, today’s readings also tell me that regardless of how bad I’ve been up until now , there is always redemption… “Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;”
Regardless of how much we’ve sinned, we can be saved. But I will warn you, there is a semicolon at the end of the quote – the reading finishes with this statement… “But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!”
Again, think about “What If” today.
My second thought comes from a statement in today’s Gospel… “The greatest among you must be your servant.” I don’t want this to sound sexist, but I consider myself to be the greatest among the people in my house. This doesn’t mean that I am better than anyone in my house, but I simply use the word “greatest” to mean the head of my household. I don’t mean this to sound arrogant because with that “title” comes a great responsibility…I must be a servant to the servants. I must be willing to do all for all in every circumstance as the “head” of the house. God knows I fall short – ask my wife. Just this past Sunday night I was asked to pick up my daughter from the youth group she attends every Sunday. My daughter Mary usually attends but wasn’t feeling well this week. Mary took Teresa to the youth group but I agreed to pick her up. I was told to be at Immaculata at 8PM, so I left the house around 7:30PM. Pulled up to the church at 7:55 and sent Teresa a text that I was there and ready to go. She replied they were watching a movie and it wasn’t quite over yet. She sent another text at 8:30 saying it was just finishing and she would be out after they cleaned up. If you don’t know me, I am not the most patient man in the world at times and one of those times is waiting in car on a Sunday night – my only day that I truly relax. Needless to say I was not a happy man and let everyone know it when I got home. I know what I did was wrong (and apologized to Mary and Teresa for acting the way I did). It hard for me to “preach” being the servant of the servants when I let a simple thing like that get the better of me. Today’s readings remind me I have to try harder at doing that – to get better each day at serving my family because it is the Lord, my God, who asks that I do this. Don’t be like the leaders who say do, do, do (and they have the authority to say this), but be like Christ who says, do, do, do but also does, does, does. The best example I can give my kids after saying what the “law” is, is showing them how to follow the “law”.
Become a servant today…and truly be the greatest among your people.