Monday, November 4, 2013

Who's really ready to wait?

In today's gospel Jesus tells the Pharisee who has invited him to dinner. That he shouldn't invite the usual folks any of us would invite, no friends, or family or those of our own class, but rather.

invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

It sounds all well and good, sitting in church on Sunday morning, but which of us is really going to do it. The closest most of us come is the tradition some parishes have of cooking a Thanksgiving meal for the poor. Then we can feel like we've checked that box for the year.

We love to complain about the younger generation and their desire for immediate gratification. We blame the technology. And yet it is not my experience that those of us who are middle-aged or senior citizens are paragons of patience.

We all seem to want what we want, when we want it. And if we really really want it, we claim we need it. The truth is our list of actual needs is fairly short.

Imagine trying to live today's gospel. Going through the day, choice by choice, doing what Jesus would do, and not even expecting so much as a thank you. Imagine making an anonymous donation. Imagine tolerating an insult, and being able to hold your tongue, be patient and know that in the final judgment God will make it all right. But not until then ! That's the scary part. Some things will not be fixed in this life.

Can I trust God that much? Can I keep my eyes fixed on the real prize? Can I have that much patience?