Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings:    Job 38:1, 8-11;    2 Corinthians 5:14-17;     Mark 4:35-41

Where is God when everything goes wrong?  We hear this in our readings from Job and Mark’s Gospel.

We’ve heard people in our day say the same thing the Disciples said to Jesus, “Teacher,[Jesus] don’t you care that we are perishing?”

Let’s be clear…God cares!  But for some reason we feel that it is God’s duty to provide health and wealth to everyone who deserves it.

Such thinking is fine for the people who have health and wealth.

Such thinking affirms the idea that those with health and wealth are the chosen for whom God cares, while at the same time getting them off the hook of responsibility for the many people who suffer; including the poor, the victims of injustice, hate, war.

There is no doubt that our needs can and should bring us to our knees, to God – but – our Christian faith is also meant to lead us beyond our self-concern – and – recognize and respond to God’s presence in everyone in need.

St. Paul was convinced that Christ’s life in us CHANGES EVERYTHING, so much that Christ’s love IMPELS US, to live no longer for ourselves but for Christ.

Today’s readings hopefully challenge us to evaluate our FAITH, asking not what it promises to us, but to what it IMPELS US.

This past week, on the Catholic radio channel, a Catholic couple was being interviewed about their appearance on the TV Show:  The Briefcase.

The premise is:   A couple, with needs themselves, are given $100,000 and they have 3 days to determine how much money they will give, or not give, to another family that is also with needs.

The radio interview did not give the ending of the TV Show away, but for some reason (maybe because God wanted me to use this example in this weekend’s Homily) I saw the last 15 minutes of this TV episode.

Here’s what happened: the couple with $100,000 from the West Coast flies to the East Coast and visits the area and home of this other family.  After 3 days, their decision is made as to how much they will give this other Couple.  Then they meet face to face and the couple from the West Coast decides to give the East Cost Family $50,000 to assist in their need, including a back mortgage of almost $70,000 – which means the West Coast Family get to keep and use the remaining $ 50,000.

Sound nice, maybe we feel that was a good resolution.

Well there is a bit of a twist.  Seems that the East Coast family was also given a $100.000 Briefcase – and – they had to decide how much they would give or keep of the money, knowing their needs and learning about the needs of this West Coast family.

So now it is time for the East Coast family to take out the amount of money they will give to the West Coast family… They take out of the Briefcase, packets of $10,000, in fact they take out 10 packets for a total of $100,000!  All the money they were given they gave away to the West Coast Family (that had given them $50,000).  Said the East Coast couple to the West Coast couple, “you had needs; they seemed to us greater than ours.”

Might we say of this East Coast couple that Christ’s love IMPELED them, to live no longer for themselves but for Christ.

Thought for the week, for every day?  How will Christ’s love for us IMPEL US to live for Christ today, tomorrow and everyday, as person, family and Parish?

The opportunities are before you and me and us daily!