Hidden Wisdom Week 5 - Do Not Worry

(February 26, 2017)

Message: Along with leaving judgment to Jesus comes this challenge: Do not worry about tomorrow.

This Sunday I give the fifth and final homily on Hidden Wisdom. We have seen that God does reveal himself in ordinary ways - creation, other people and one's conscience. Still, to us he offers something greater: hidden wisdom. As St. Paul says, "we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden..." Only by hidden wisdom can we make sense of Jesus' teaching, for example, the Beatitudes: "Blessed are they who mourn...Blessed are you when they insult you..."

Hidden wisdom also helps understand the meaning of light and salt. You and I are not movers and shakers, but God wants to shake us like salt. Jesus wants us to permeate society like salt flavors a stew. Jesus teaches us to avoid lust, name-calling and equivocation, then he tells us to perfect. Perfection seems impossible until we examine the context - how God makes the sun shine on the unjust as well as the just. God's sees us as we are, yet offers mercy. Perfection involves striving for mercy.

We see this in St. Paul's words about becoming "stewards of the mysteries of God" - that is, administrators of mercy and healing.

To administer mercy we have to stop passing judgment. Does this mean we refrain from all judgment? Well, if you are a parent, a teacher, a police officer you have to make certain judgments in order to care for the people for whom you are responsible. As a pastor I sometimes make limited judgments. I don't enjoy it, but I have a responsibility.

On the other hand I'm not responsible for the pope or the president.* I have to admit, I do enjoy judging him and other politicians, but maybe I need to listen to Paul, "Do not make any judgment before the appointed time." Then everything will be brought to light. For now here's the best policy: to mind one's own business. To judge when one has to, but otherwise leave things to the perfect and merciful judge.

Along with leaving judgment to Jesus comes this challenge: "Do not worry about your life." This is super hard for me because I am a big worrier. I worry that someone will get upset or simply discouraged - and leave. I worry about our children - whether they will follow Jesus and practice their faith.

Yet Jesus says do not worry about tomorrow. This has implications I can't spell out in a single homily. Fortunately this Wednesday we turn a new page. We will receive ashes to remind us of the shortness of life. Things we worry about - including these malfunctioning bodies - will turn to dust. Repent and believe in the Gospel. Seek first the kingdom of God. Do not worry about tomorrow:

Only in God be at rest, my soul
for from him comes my hope.
He is my rock and my salvation
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed. Amen.


*A person can of course vote, write a letter or join a political party. It's telling however that while only 55% of those eligible voted in the last election, a much bigger percentage waste time and energy in what St. Paul calls "judgment before the appointed time."

Spanish Version

From Archives (Eighth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2014: Toward a Synthesis - Part 4
2011: Only in God

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