Somewhere Between Everything & Nothing

Tuesday of Week 21 in Ordinary Time

On the one hand Paul addressing the Thessalonians, reminds them not to get caught up in reports of Jesus’ imminent return, but to persevere in love of God and service to others. And on the other hand Jesus laments the Pharisees’ obsession with minutiae to the neglect of the bigger picture. The Thessalonians believed they could just throw their hands up and do nothing since Jesus was coming soon while the Pharisees felt they had to attend to every little detail of tithing like it mattered more than God’s call to a life of holiness.

We have to stay somewhere in between these two extremes. We know Jesus will return but he tells us no one knows when but the Father alone. So we should quit focusing on that event which is beyond our power to affect or control. But neither should we blow everything out of proportion and assume everything depended on us. The details are not more important than the principles or rationale behind what we do and how we live. A more balanced perspective would involve caring as best we can for that patch of the vineyard God entrusted to us. The sunshine and rain are beyond our control. But we can weed and prune and irrigate.

In our Christian lives obsessing over end times can cause complete paralysis either for fear or thinking nothing we do matters in the least. And obsessing over every little detail can cause burnout because everything would depend on us and that’s just too heavy a burden to bear. So we have to remember that God is creator of the universe, savior of the human family, and sustainer of all life. God shares with us his own life and invites us to participate in the unfolding of his will for all creation. We can’t do everything. God doesn’t expect us to. We can’t do nothing. God needs our openness and fidelity. Somewhere in between works best.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Irvin Butler.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020

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