Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
October 30, 2007
Control is something we like to think we have down. None of us like to admit that we are not in control of any particular situation. When we are kids we learn quickly how to manipulate others in an attempt to get what we want. That is a normal part of development when we are kids. The problem is that we continue to do it when we know better as adults. We tend to think that if we can master the manipulation of people, things and events then we will be in control. We usually find out the hard way that we truly do not have control.
Many of us try to control God. Sounds really silly when you stop and think about it but we try it anyway. I believe that our readings today are a strong reminder that we are not the ones in control but rather God who is in control. Take the parables Jesus gives us today. A seed and the yeast are items that have a plan and will carry that plan out. The seed grows and the yeast leavens and makes bread. Simple.
I believe that Jesus is showing us that God's plan is simple and cannot be manipulated by anything we say or do or don't say or do. The Kingdom of God is in God's control, not ours. We may think that God is on "our side" but the fact is that we must always work to be on God's side. I don't understand how we get off thinking that we can control God.
God's Kingdom is a gift. We are given the great gift of salvation and we are invited to accept that gift and use it not control it. The only thing we do have control over is how we respond to God's great gift of salvation. It is simple really. We either say yes or we say no and then we live according to our response. The gift is given, the gift is received and the gift is used. How we live shows whether we value God's gift or not.
I believe these readings fit in perfectly with our readings this past Sunday. We pray out of our neediness and God hears us. We ask for our needs and not merely our wants. We pray because we are dependent upon God and not the other way around. We need God! We need his love! We must be open to God's plan. Our relationship with God is about our living to do his will and not our own. Our prayers should be about our need and not about us trying to get God to bend to our will.
If we ask God, we will receive. If we try to play games with God, we refuse his great gift of life and all we receive is our own empty self righteousness.