Daily Reflection for Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Peace and blessing, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Judges 9:6-15
Responsorial: Psalm 21:2-7
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Our reflection on Wednesday's reading:
Are you envious because I am generous?
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Mt 20:16
We live in a society where entitlement is rampant. Advertisements tell us we deserve this or that. We are brainwashed to want the best, to only settle for the best. And so a materialism that will never satisfy our souls becomes the faith to which we are too easily seduced.
The attitude that “we deserve” is toxic. It divides us, causes jealousy, envy and greed and it creates deprivation for those who cannot compete. This is not the way of Jesus.
Jesus teaches us that the gift of life, of eternal life, is not something we earn. It is not something we can compete to win. It is a gift, undeserved, but fully given through the love and grace of our Father God. The only worthy response to this gift is gratitude. The more we as followers of Jesus practice gratitude, the more fully we enjoy and receive the gifts the Lord has for us.
Certainly at the top of this gift list is everlasting life within the Kingdom of God. But this Kingdom is not only beyond time; it is also here and now. It is in the sound of the birds at daybreak. It is in the laughter of a child. It is in the smile of a loved one or even the smile of a stranger. It is in the bread and wine of the sacrament.
Entitlement is the devil’s tool whispered in our ears to unsettle us and separate us from God's grace and from each other. Let us taste the gifts of our Creator’s love in every possible moment of awareness. Let us savor these expressions of God’s love and not diminish them by longing for more. Let us give thanks and gratitude that we are the beloved recipients of undeserved love and grace. And let us pass on this love and grace to all we meet along our paths.
Lord help us to trust that it is not in possessing, but in being possessed by your love and grace that we find the treasure we seek. Help us to realize that we can only love because you have first loved us. Protect us from entitlement and greed and bless us with generous hearts that pass on your love and care to others. Amen