October 28, 2020

Faith Formation: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If I work for five hours, I expect to get paid for five hours. If I
work for two, I expect to get paid for two. What if we worked
for a company that paid everyone the same amount
regardless of how long they worked? How would we feel
going home with the same pay for working eight hours as
my co-worker did for working only two hours? Secular
wisdom would have a huge problem with this and a visit to
the Labor Board would quickly pursue. But this is God’s
wisdom and God’s ways.
We sometimes think that if we pray more, better, or more
fervently and go over and above with the practice of our
faith, God will somehow reward us and present us with
some kind of merit badge. We are so wrong. Spiritual
practices have only one true purpose: to deepen our love
for God. In deepening our love for God, we also increase our
ability to see God’s presence around us, living life more
purposefully and contemplatively. What if God chooses to
treat someone who has come on the scene of faith later in
life the same as someone who has devoted their whole lives
to it? Does it really matter? If we have the merit badge
notion of faith, we can find ourselves feeling a little arrogant
and even jealous of folks who have not followed the same
path that we have. We can even see ourselves as the
privileged few who have a corner on the faith and fully
possess it.