Sunday, July 21, 2019

16th Sunday – Ordinary Time Radio Mass

Rev, Thomas Kuller S.J.

Our Readings today, even though they may seem disconnected from one another are all about our encountering the Lord in surprising ways. Our good and wonderful God is shrouded in mystery. We wonder what could God possibly be like. What does God think and see, or even do all day? Is the Lord done with creation, letting it go and watching it all pass by and unfold in time? Is God actively maneuvering the actions of nature and even our own thoughts? We’ll never know until we come to see God face to face. The mystery of God’s nature prompts us to probe deep into our own nature. We all want to know what really makes us tick. Each one of us yearns to have relationships that are meaningful and satisfying. Every man, woman, and child craves connection with other people. We can know for sure that human nature is based in relationships and being together with our fellow human beings. In faith we are taught and believe that we are created in God’s image. What could that possibly mean? What do we come to know about God as we come to know ourselves? The dynamics of human relating constitute the history of our salvation. Abraham recognized and came to believe in a God that is a unifying force of the universe. Abraham discovered in his exploration of life’s meaning that there is something outside of us that at the same time touches the innermost depths of our souls. The invitation to worship and know the ultimate source of meaning was the call that Abraham responded to in his trust of a God he could never fully understand. God puzzled Abraham in the way Abraham’s life was changed by his relationship with God.

The Apostle Paul came to know God in the depths of human nature by his giving over his entire being to the mission he was asked to fulfill. Paul’s donation of his entire effort in life mirrors and is an image of the suffering, death and Resurrection of Christ. In God’s image, we, too, are creatures of light and goodness when we respond to the Lord’s presence deep within us inviting us to give our all for the sake of what we know to be the truly loving and right thing to do. The choices we face every day are not always easy. The difficulties we encounter are part of the imperfections of ourselves and our world that are overcome finally when we let our hearts bask in the presence of the Lord all around us.

Martha and Mary were glad to have the great Teacher in their home. Jesus’ presence was undoubtedly compelling. Each in her way responded in generosity to having the chance to encounter such an inspiring person in their midst. And here our human nature in its limits gets in the way. Martha was consumed with details of entertaining, not seeing at first the importance of relaxing and letting things happen. Mary at the moment was present to Jesus, but would eventually need to take her turn attending to those practical matters of simply being human. Through the ages, in various ways, our faith inspires us to encounter a God who is already encountering us in a deep and profound way. We need to welcome the Lord into our hearts, our souls, and our lives. We have examples to guide us. How wonderful to know that who we are and what we do reflects a loving Creator with whom we share the mystery of divine life.

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