My lamp was filled; then I went to the places devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and I became angry with God.
Perhaps Matthew’s message to us is that we need to climb that mountain a bit more often to be closer to God, or we need to bend the knee of our heart a bit more often to listen more deeply to the truth and wisdom of God, or we need to make the choice toward love more completely, to see each other as God sees us. For failing to live into the beatitudes is not a matter of moral inadequacy, but rather a lack of trust in God. A trust that God’s message of peace and love and joy for all is indeed still valid and meant for us, all of us.
We got it right last week, and hopefully we do all weeks, because when we are reminded of our baptismal identity and purpose and we receive renewal and strength through the sacrament, we often discover worship becomes the focus of our lives, because it is the source of life-giving energy. The more we are drawn to worship, the deeper we are called to prayer, personal devotions, and scripture study, and the more we may find we desire a life devoted to “Being the Change You wish to see in the world.”
So this morning, I would like to invite us to view this parable as a series of slides, each one become increasingly challenging for us. For that is the purpose of parables. These are not stories intended to comfort us. They are the “afflicting the comfortable” stories of Jesus, meant to be disturbing. So if we find we look at only the slide which makes us feel righteous or just, we need to keep clicking deeper into the parable to find the truth meant for us this day
Coffee Hour is no longer just a time for networking, but a time in the diaspora of our Church community where Church continues.
Benedict also goes on to state in his Rule, “We must remember to start over and start over and start over until someday we control life more than it controls us. And so each moment we begin to feel offended by someone’s actions or words, or find we want to grumble about some unfairness of life, we need to start anew, we need to turn ourselves around and put ourselves in the role of the last hired. Because only when we know the vulnerability that person lives in can we truly find in our hearts and comprehend the generosity that the landowner bestowed upon the last-hired, and offer the same to that person.
We are to stop living as though nothing has changed. We are to put aside the works of darkness: we are to stop gratifying ourselves by harming and provoking each other; and we are to put on the armor of light, by loving our neighbor as ourselves.
At some point along our Christian journey, we each will need to answer the question Jesus posed to his disciples in our gospel reading this morning ~ “Who do YOU say that I am?”
We vow in the Baptismal Covenant to ‘… seek and serve Christ in all persons… and strive for justice and peace among all people.’ We must begin to say the things that come from our changed hearts if we want the world to be a better place for the oppressed and the depressed, which will make it better for all of us. Hear what God is still speaking to your heart, and let your heart be changed by it.