Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 82


"No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.


One of the loveliest and most-cited passages in Matthew's gospel begins with Jesus' warning about two masters. His admonition that we should not worry about food, clothing and shelter and his suggestion that we look at the birds and learn from the flowers follow his teaching, "You cannot serve God and mammon." 


Lent, our season of penance, begins on Wednesday, March 1. The Easter season from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost sets us apart; we are those who serve God. 

But, for those who are anxious about appearances, Jesus assures us, "...I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them." 

It's about faith. Shall I believe the Lord and let him deck me out in Solomon's splendor, or will I conform to the standard fashions. 

(The other day I asked a tattooed fellow, "Can you tell when a person got his tattoo by it's style. Do the fashions change year by year?" He said he doesn't worry about fashion. But I wonder, what could be worse than a tattoo that's no longer fashionable? I guess I'll wait another ten years to get one, to find out what's permanently fashionable. Or is that an oxymoron? 😉) 
All these things the pagans seek.Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness...
The Dominant Culture make jokes about political correctness and fashion police; but, in fact, they live in dread of being seen as odd or different. Their cult of individuality, especially, marks them for conformity. The very effort to stand out is chained to the impulse to be like everyone else. 

The Lord has told us in many ways, we should be different: 
(He) gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.
Our willingness to remain in marriage and work out our difficulties time after time; to welcome the unexpected pregnancy; to care for the sick until natural death; to live with our disabilities -- physical, mental and spiritual -- and count them as blessings; to worship God in good times and bad; and to trust in God's Providence as birds of the air and flowers in the field: these mark us as a people who belong to God. 

Because we are different, we make a difference. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.