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Monday, May 25, 2009

Safe Landing?

a reflection from
Servants of the Father of Mercy
From time to time, we lose our correct way in life, don’t we? Apparently, John Kennedy, Jr. lost his way as FAA reports make sense of a needless plane crash. Up became down and down appeared to be up. The result? A deathly speed demon of a crash into the glass wall of the ocean.

To some, being a liberal Christian seems to be Jesus’ correct way. Yet, to others a good old fashioned conservative fiery sermon, organ-driven choir-loft choristers singing four-part harmony or even a Latin Mass is the correct way. Yet, Jesus speaks of a more excellent way, “This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” (cf. John 15:12) We’ve been hearing a lot about this from John in the recent Sunday and daily Mass readings the past few weeks. If you are non Catholic and you are still lovingly reading this with compassion, it probably means that even more so than some of us Catholics, you are on the correct way.

So what is the way? (Like John Kennedy, Jr., we may want to know. He was searching for the way in his last moments, but did not find it. Frantic last minute searches usually end up disastrous.)
Is the way liberal? Is it conservative? What if it is neither? If the goal is landing our plane in heaven, would it not be important to know the way?

Consider this, according to Jesus’ love commandment, when a liberal judges a conservative, God must be on the side of the conservative. Conversely, when a conservative judges a liberal, more-than-likely He must be on the side of the liberal. While serving the poor most of her life, Blessed Mother Teresa determined that “love is the measure.”

If God is not on the side of the liberal or the conservative, then who’s side is He on? Who does He defend? Today’s Psalm reading gives us clues as to who is in and who is out. Who might receive God's support and is landing and who may be crashing …

“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
Psalm 68:4-6

Welcome to the Kingdom of God where down is up – up is down, millions lose the way and the whole darn thing is twisted inside out and upside down. Here, apparently loser repentants are raised: The prostitute is protected, the lonely is loved, the gay is given, the homeless weep (but one day will laugh), the addicted is added, the fat and overweight are found, the loser is lifted and the prisoner is prized. However, the powerful are pummeled, haters wind up in hell, self-righteous are removed and even a pastor or priest can be passed by. May we all hunger and thirst - seek ardently to find the narrow way and otherwise avoid disastrous results. May we all land safely in heaven.
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