Friday, April 4, 2014

Wisdom we don't want

Today's reading is from the Book of Wisdom, and yes you will need a Catholic or Orthodox Bible to find it, it is among the books jettisoned by the reformation.

In it we hear the foreshadowing of how Jesus will be treated, the lengths that the wicked will go to to stop the just man. Even today's reponsorial psalm contains the words, "Many are the troubles of the just man."

It was in the 1950's that the phenomenon called "prosperity theology" began to spread. And it became popular because it is what we want to hear. If you are a good person, if you go to church (and donate) God is going to fill your life wealth, and health, and blessing right now in this life.

The problem with it is that it doesn't square with the gospel. Go read Luke's version of the beatitudes or even Mk 10. Even in the same breath that Jesus promises blessings, he also promises persecution.

The simple truth is that we should do what is right, not because we are hoping for some earthly blessing, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

Today's readings remind us that if we speak the truth of the gospel, it is not always going to be well received. We should not intentionally offend. We should always choose our words with the goal of persuding. But no matter how nicely we word the truth there will always be those who don't want to hear it, and are ready to attack the messenger.

Our reward is eternal life with God. Seeking any other reward is always going to set us up for, at a minimum, disappointment.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.