Engaging the Word: 10/05/2014
If God did such a good job creating things, why is the world such a mess? If we are made for peace and unity with God and one another, why is there so much violence and division? Some might say, “What a waste!”
Indeed, in a way it is a waste, but in another way creation might be seen to be a waste if there were no one to freely appreciate it. Planets revolving around the sun, trees growing, birds singing, and human beings automatically doing everything well and rightly would all be lovely, but it would be a bit like a train set with God at the controls and no one else to watch.
Now, we understand that God in the dance of the Trinity is as happy as can be and has no need of creation to magnify that happiness, but for whatever reason, presumably to share happiness, God freely creates, sustains, and transforms. The most interesting feature of God’s train set is that placed in it are creatures that can either play along or complain, can either cooperate or do their own thing, can either say, “Hey God, nice creation; it’s great to be alive,” or outright lie and grumble “This creation isn’t so great; I could have done better.”
So, the Lord has planted a wonderful garden and given it all that it needs, but the Lord has also placed in it free creatures who can play along or not. If they all did, their souls would magnify the greatness of the Lord. As they all do not, they testify to the greatness of God’s love for us but make the world a mess.
So how do we find peace in a world in which free creatures by their selfish choices have let loose evil? Well, as the psalmist suggests, call on the Lord. Turning to our loving God is the first step in coming to act with justice and make the Kingdom of God at least a bit more real. Another step is to take the advice of St. Paul, who suggests that in this world so infected with what is evil we need to focus on the good things, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,” and whatever is excellent and worthy of praise. If we do and continue to act on what we have learned and received and heard and seen in faith, then the God of peace will be with us.
1st Reading: Isaiah 5: 1-7 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 80: 9, 12-16, 19-20
2nd Reading: Philippians 4: 6-9~ Gospel: Matthew 21: 33-43
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