Step One: Decide What’s Real
Thoughts on the First Readings -Joe Frankenfield
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Zechariah 9: 9-10
“Your hopes and dreams will color everything you ever do,” a professor told me years ago. “They’re the source of your likes and dislikes, your judgments, your decisions, your friendships and your loves. Pay attention to them. Take responsibility for them.”
Those words came back to me recently when someone commented, “I’m a Christian but I’m a realist too.” I’d wondered at such sentiments many times before but, this time the contradiction in the comment really struck me.
If Christianity is anything, it’s a set of hopes and dreams. It’s an understanding of the world’s future and a proclamation of the human behavior that will lead us into it. It’s not a philosophy that wise people have generated; it’s a revelation arising from Jesus’ life and teaching that his followers have passed down to us. It’s a revelation of the universe’s Creator. How strange that anyone would juxtapose such a revelation over against reality!
We might not like everything about the revelation. We might be unsure how to respond to it. We might be unsure whether or not we can live up to it. We might not even accept it is revelation. But, if we do accept it; if we find it believable as the Creator’s truth; if we make it our faith, how can we understand it as anything but reality at its most basic?
The Creator gave his Word: human life will be loving and just. He gave his Word: the power of God working within us will accomplish that just and loving life if we trust it and follow its urgings.
A spiritual life is a life that reflects our beliefs. Christian spiritual life is a life that accepts the Word of Jesus as the foundation of our likes and dislikes, our judgments, our decisions, our friendships and our loves. It’s not easy . . . but it’s not complicated either.