From Our Pastor: 26th Sunday In Ordinary Time
We get a lot of warnings about becoming lazy and at ease where we are and not looking to the needs of others. The first reading warns us from getting lazy and complacent in our faith, especially as we get prosperous and comfortable. This can mean financially, but this also can be spiritually, and it can be both. But what is the thing that offends God the most? They are getting complacent as Joseph, one of the tribes of Israel, is collapsing. As that part of the community was in grave need the others did nothing. This means that just because things are going well in your life, and maybe in your life of faith, doesn’t mean you can get complacent and not worry about the rest of the needs of the entire Church. We need to respond to the call of the Lord to reach out and find people wherever they may be, and bring them to Christ. This is very uncomfortable because it often means being out of our comfort zone, to walk with someone in a place you may not like. Paul tells us through Timothy to compete well for the faith, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. This is a follow up to the warning from Amos, which then leads us to the major warning from the Gospel.
We cannot continue to be rich, whether it be in finances or spiritually, and walk by those who are poor and in need, whether it be financially or spiritually. See, the problem is we hear these and just get defensive financially, but fail to see the spiritual call of these passages. We also have a tendency in our defensiveness to not challenge that financial call either. Spiritually our brothers and sisters are begging for true food; not just the needs of the food pantry, but also the needs of those spiritually hungry for the truth, for love and acknowledgment, and for the true food of the sacraments, most especially the Eucharist. We need to see our starving brothers and sisters who are home in their beds, and at other churches where they left the Eucharist — working, playing, or putting sports, especially their kids’ sports, above the Mass. We need to pray for their conversion, invite them home, walk with them to bring them home, and bring them the food of truth and grace that they truly are searching for — to help them find Christ.
This weekend we are asking you to revisit how God is calling you to serve and give and pour oneself out to the Lord and one another. Renew yourself in the Lord. Ask Him how He is calling you to respond. Ask Him how He is calling you to give to the needs of the parish. Ask Him how you are being called to love more radically. We can’t get complacent. It’s time to challenge ourselves and get out of our comfort zone as the Lord is calling you to be a witness to the resurrection, as Jesus tells us this is what we witness to bring others to Christ. You have seen the resurrection. You have experienced the resurrection. You have tasted the resurrection. Now really push yourself to see how the resurrected Christ is calling you to witness to what you have seen and experienced and tasted.
-Rev. Steven Arisman