A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Have it your way

Jeroboam, the ancient king of Israel who is the focus of today’s first reading (from 1 Kings 12 & 13), is not terribly well known today, but in some ways he is very “now.”

Religion has become inconvenient: it threatens his personal, political and career goals.

And so, he sets up his own religion.

It is almost laughable: he sets up a golden calf and says, “Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”

And the people fell for it.

This, of course, was the beginning of the end for that kingdom.

What Jeroboam did isn’t just something done by kings and political leaders, who may try to alter people’s faith and religious structures to suit their political ends.

Nor is it just something done by disgruntled parishioners or midlevel religious leaders who decide to set up their own churches.

The principles and the practice of our faith can sometimes become inconvenient to all of us and it can be very, very tempting to make “adjustments” to suit our own convenience.

The beginning of the end.

It doesn’t take a prophet to see how ungodly the world is today. It should therefore be no surprise that the ways of God do not fit harmoniously with the ways of the world and that the true principles and practices of faith will be sometimes inconvenient for our lives in this world.

But the things of this world are temporary and the ways of this world are ultimately dead ends. True fulfillment, ultimate happiness, and eternal life can only be found in the ways of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t take a saint to realize that we are much better off enduring inconvenience now rather than separation from God in eternity.

So our prayer must be: "Not the world's way, Lord, nor my way, but let it be your way."

Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me – a sinner.