Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.
My tendency is to crave recognition for things I have done. I confess that ad libitum, ad nauseum, along with my other sins. But I’m happy to note that we live in a world where I can get little ego boosts nearly all day, every day for ever: [+1] [Like][<3][RT]
Jesus reminds us: if we have evangelized the world, if we have raised the dead, worked miracles greater than he, and run the race until its completion, we have only done what was commanded. We have led all the committees, raised funds for all the windows, paid off all the seminary debt, healed broken marriages, learned to forgive seven times seventy… We have only done what was commanded.
In short, there are no special snowflakes in the Kingdom of God.
In our Epistle today, St Paul says to St Titus that God is “training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:11-14a)
We have to do it now… not later. It’s not enough to have the “sinners’ prayer” as some kind of “Get out of Hell Free” card. Jesus is not a fire escape. “Heaven is a city on a hill, hence we cannot coast into it; we have to climb. Those who are too lazy to mount can miss its capture as well as the evil who refuse to seek it. Let no one think he can be totally indifferent to God in this life and suddenly develop a capacity for Him at the moment of death. Where will the capacity for heaven come from if we have neglected it on earth?” Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Seven Capital Sins)
That’s our job. Nothing more, nothing less: to be “in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech “. It’s kinda boring, really, this neary Vulcan religion of ours, except for that great joy and love stuff.
This was in the Office of Readings yesterday, from a 2nd century sermon:
It is not enough for us to call him “Lord.” That will not save us. As he says: It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does what is right. We must acknowledge him by our actions, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, by avoiding calumny and jealousy. We must live continently, compassionately, virtuously. We must let love for each other take precedence over love of riches. It is by these actions that we acknowledge Christ, not by doing the opposite; and remember that it is not human beings that we should fear and respect, but God. The Lord has said to you: If you are gathered together into my arms and do not obey my commands I will cast you from me and say to you, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men!”
So, my brethren, let us move forward to face the contest before us. In the contests of this world victory does not come to all competitors but only to a few who have trained hard and fought well; but in our contest, let us fight so that all may have the victory. Let us run the straight race, let us compete in the eternal contest, and let whole crowds of us steer our course towards the crown of victory. If we cannot all be victors let us at least come close.
But, this needs to be said, over and over: that’s our Job. All of us win or, really, none of us do. And even then, the reward will be “You did your job.” (The Arkham Horror reference in the title is linked to that second paragraph… if you don’t know the game no worries! Basically it’s a long one – 8 hours was the last one I played – but everyone wins together or no one wins at all.)
Be sure to like, share, and retweet, thanks. Validate me please.
Here is the Snowflake Canticle:
Antiphon: Ye shall be.
am a snowflake, special, unique and majestic.
I am peerless in myself, though surrounded by peerless millions.
I am self-defining, self-affirming, and self-sustaining because
I am good, strong, and humble.
In my state
I freely submit to a religious discipline because
it makes me a better person and
it has nice music and pretty colors,
and drugs are bad.
Glory to my parents who brought me into this life: I’m an adult now. I am a snowflake: you can’t melt me, and I’ll call the feds if you try.
Antiphon: Ye shall be as gods.