Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily Office Reflection: Doing Good

Alley just in from a romp in the snow, 2011
Psalms 89:1-18 * 89:19-52; Numbers 16:1-19; Romans 3:21-31; Matthew 19:13-22

Jesus challenges an individual about the definition of the word "good" today. He defines that word mostly in the negative: we shall not murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness. He adds two positives: we are to honor our parents, and love our neighbors as ourselves. The individual Jesus is talking to shrugs those off saying, yup, I already do those...what else? Jesus than challenges him to sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and then come and follow. The questioner leaves dejected, being the owner of many things.

The things we own can take possession of us. Some can't consider the thought of moving because of the weight of all those things owned. "Down-sizing" seems an impossibility: what can we do with all these things we love? The interaction here is bigger than those considerations...What if we take a step back from literalism, and wonder what metaphor "possessions" might be for us?...

What is controlling us, possessing us, that is getting in our way of doing the right thing, doing what is good, as defined by Jesus? For Jesus sees that the individual with whom he is conversing is doing pretty well, but has been gifted with opportunities that allow further work to be done...

Priorities...what is important in life and what is not...these are the focus of Jesus' conversation with the individual with many possessions today. Are we ready to really address these true priorities? Our lives, and the world around us, will probably be very different if that were the case.

Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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