February 13, 2022
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
What has been the most difficult challenge you faced in your life? Many difficult human experiences can “turn up the heat” in our lives, causing us to question the why of things or even fall into despair. Some people just somewhat passively accept what life brings, even death, and chalk difficult experiences up to happening “because they do.” They seemingly endure and move on. Taking life at face value, there really is no ultimate meaning to things. It’s easier to ignore that inner prompting calling us to understand why. It’s there whether we admit it or not. To question or not to question — that is the question! People sometimes give up the God search because it causes too many questions. Once we open the door to the possibility of God’s existence, then all of the awkward, challenging, and tragic pieces of life have to find their place.
It gets messy. But the search is so important to living. We can easily dry up and become arid, abandoning any hope for purpose and meaning because it’s too difficult and non-rational at times. In searching for answers to the how and why of life, human beings also embark on a search for God. When one finally stumbles upon the real living tangible presence of God, then that discovery allows life’s ironies and tensions to be held side by side with the all-encompassing totally unconditional, unmerited love of God! Then when life’s heat gets turned up, difficulties and challenges abound, dryness and heartache become the norm, the soul remains in joyful repose. There is no fear.
The beatitudes celebrate life’s ironies and tensions, holding them all together in the Kingdom of God. Poverty, hunger, weeping, being insulted and hated are not things we would normally associate with being God’s friends. But they are! In fact, those who experience these uncomfortable realities of life are actually better off than those who do not. This is what makes Jesus’ message so intriguing! Don’t give up questioning. Questioning the apparent inequities and polarities of human experience will certainly challenge one’s faith. But it’s the only way to deepen it.
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