Gospel today: Luke 19:11-28
It is late in the day, but I want so much to share this with you, as we, as a Community listen to the gospel together, a final time at the close of our night prayer, allowing the Word of God to examine our conscience. Two things struck me strongly tonight, as I heard Sister read the gospel (the parable of the ten pounds). It was particularly these two sentences: "Another came, saying, "Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin, for I was afraid of you"- now...hold that in your thoughts....and listen to this final sentence in this passage today..."But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them"...
The correlation that strikes me, is how our Lord is showing, that fear gets in the way of His reign over us, His reign of love and peace. Fear hurts His loving heart so deeply, (that lack of trust in Him), fear is our "enemy" and fear is associated with the terrorist- the evil one. How many of us allow fear (anxieties) to rule us? I know I can fall into it at times too. Sometimes the fears are irrational and sometimes they seem "reasonable" given the situation, however fear is not of God and the Lord tells us countless times in sacred scripture, "be not afraid". Sometimes fear can take the "face" of being governed by human respect and too much self focus (ie what will others think of me? or how will they judge me?) Fear got in the way of this servant even attempting to do any good instead "he played it safe" succumbed to fear and never did anything. A type of acedia, that smallness and miserliness of heart that gets caught in measuring outcomes. We too can live from this place of fear and try also, to "play it safe in life", afraid of failure and so... we never try to become saints. Jesus wants us fully alive! He has called us to holiness! Part of that path in holiness is just this - "messing up" along the way. A person does not pick up a violin and play a magnificent piece of Vivaldi in perfect tone the first try, it takes many times and many errors. Which leads me to a closing thought. It reminds me tonight of a quote I read from the newspaper some time back, a quote from Pope Francis, which I wasn't exactly sure what Holy Father meant at the time, but I really think it refers to this when he said: "What do I expect of world youth day? I expect a mess!" It seems to me, that if this servant in the gospel took his pound that the master gave him, and tried to do some good with it, despite fears, making mistakes and perhaps making "a mess" of it all, just through "humanness" and the inability to do it without a mess happening, this IS the way the Lord wants us to go. Change isn't always neat, convenient or painless. I love this quote from Mother:
"The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyways. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough, give your best anyways. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyways" (Mother Teresa)