Opposite Day

Friday of Week 18 in Ordinary Time

There seems to be a clear disparity between the values of the world and the values of the Kingdom of God. That isn’t news at all. So Jesus’ suggestion that his followers live in opposition to the values of the world puts them in the crosshairs of those who hunger and thirst for power and wealth and influence. The path to right relationship with God involves setting aside one’s selfish appetites in pursuit of service of God and neighbor. It’s not the path to popularity and worldly admiration, but it leads to the attainment of life, that very life with God himself in the glorious splendor of his eternal Kingdom. The denial of self and taking up of the cross is essential to Christian discipleship in imitation of Jesus whose one and only objective was obedience to the will of the Father. And with his suffering, death, and resurrection, his name is exalted above all names, he is restored to his rightful place by the Father’s side, and he has gained reconciliation and eternal life for all the human family.

And our ardent desire for God’s justice in the life to come can sometimes seem to fall on deaf ears as we see our expectations in this life go unfulfilled in the immediate term. It seems God likes to take his sweet time while we must endure suffering, oppression, injustice, and even death at the hands of those who clearly have no regard for God nor God’s values. But God sees the larger picture and will bring about his will in his own time and as he sees fit. The people of Israel feel vindicated at the fall of Babylon and the Assyrian empire. The prophet Nahum gives voice to their shouts of gladness and exaltation because God will restore his people from the darkness and despair of their suffering and exile. It could definitely have come sooner, but they are pleased and grateful nonetheless.

So when we call upon God in the midst of our trials and suffering, we are encouraged to put total trust in him. God will win out in the end despite what feels like evil continually gaining the upper hand and getting away with murder. If you want to win, you will have to lose. And if you willingly lose your life for his sake, you will gain his very life and everything that belongs to God’s kingdom. Jesus assures us that the Father will repay each according to his conduct. We have choices to make.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Ella McKinnon.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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