Sunday, September 2, 2007

He knows what?!

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 26, 2007
Mass Readings:
Isaiah 66:18-21
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Luke 13:22-30

"Thus says the LORD:I know their works and their thoughts"

The Lord speaks through Isaiah and lets us know something very important. A little bit of info we need to keep in mind is that God knows what is in our hearts and minds and what we do. We can't "fake-out" God.

When we are kids we think that we can lie to our parents and they will never figure out that we are trying to pull a fast one. Well, they know. Yet when we are kids we think that we can pull anything over on anyone if we just lie or manipulate. How can anyone figure it out? Easy! Our lies and games are never that good. So the lies and games build up and become increasingly complex and harder to maintain. Then, they fall apart and we are surprised that anyone saw through them. A bit naive I'd say. Problem is that we all do it at one time or another. We are human and humans play games. Sad but true.

Eventually we begin to use the same tactics with God. We begin to try and barter with God, a quid-pro-quo attitude. We actually begin to think we can lie to God and manipulate the Father! Thing is, God knows our works and our thoughts and he sees right through our charades.

This is one reason why I find politics hard to stomach. Every politician thinks that God is on his/her side. Especially during campaigns, each politician thinks that he/she has the market on God cornered and that he/she speaks for God and everyone else is wrong. By election day I always have a migraine. Just because someone has the public spotlight doesn't mean he/she is God's servant. God is neither a Democrat nor Republican and God can't be manipulated by any political machine. God is God, the creator of the universe and is beholden to no person or group.

We do it in the Church as well. We have so many groups fighting one another because one group thinks that they have the market cornered when it comes to God while another group is seen as the enemy. Surely if we ridicule another group or person loud and long enough that proves us right? So we fight and believe that we can rally God to do what we want him to do because, after all, how can "WE" be wrong?

God is not a commodity that can be controlled and manipulated. No matter how closely we choose our words or actions. No matter how pious we strive to convince God we are. No matter how "religious" we are. No matter how right we may think we are, God will not be controlled or lied to because he knows our thoughts and our works. We cannot hide our true motives and agendas from God. God sees and knows our spirit. Nothing can be hidden from God and we only delude ourselves when we think we can fool God. The only person we fool is our self and we miss out on the glories of being fully open to God's Holy Spirit.

When we delude ourselves into thinking that we can play games with God, we lose the game. All God asks of us is to be open, honest, receptive and willing. God wants us to be open to his love and willing to answer the call he gives. It isn't so hard when you stop and think about it. Yet there we go thinking that we can pull a fast one on God and manipulate him to do our will instead of us doing his will.

The greatest gift that God has given us is love. God's love is an invitation to live a transparent life where we live in communion with The Trinity and one another. It is a joyful communion that gives life and peace. The glorious thing is that this gift is free and requires no manipulation or lies to get it. All we have to do is ask and then give ourselves over to God's will. So simple yet we make it hard when we think we need to play games with God.