Beg to Differ

Did you know?  Did you know that we burn calories by performing strenuous exercises that do not require physical strength?  For example,

  • Dragging my heels:  150 calories
  • Throwing my weight around:  30-300 calories
  • Making mountains out of molehills:  500 calories
  • Running around in circles:  350 calories
  • Putting my foot in my mouth:  450 calories
  • Going over the edge:  165 calories
  • Picking up the pieces afterwards:  400 calories

Christians, Jesus calls us the “salt of the earth,” and “the light of the world.”  We all know our titles.  And as soon as mass is over, we forget them.  A few years ago, Christians in India discuss among themselves why Christianity does not spread more in India.  And they conclude that the biggest obstacle to Christianity in India is Christians.  Oh sure people may feed the poor and take care of the sick.  But often they do not love each other.  When society witnesses infighting and bickering as the rest of the world, many conclude that people are disingenuous.

Sister Helen Prejean is the anti-death penalty crusader in the United States.  She has a saying that goes like this: “When I light a candle at midnight, I say to the darkness: ‘I beg to differ.’”  When the salt goes flat and when the light goes out, we must beg to differ.  And we must begin within the Christian community.  The later Fr. Michael Komechak of our community had a wonderful saying that spoke about how some monks were great with guests but horrible with fellow monks.  He called them, “Community prunes, social plums.”  In other words I am the best salt for the world and the best light of the world, but when it comes to my community I fall flat.  I can share the best bread with the hungry.  I can build the best shelter for the homeless.  I give away the best clothes to the naked.  But those same gifts I give to those in need outside of the Church, must be the same gifts I bring to this Church.

Our model is St. Paul.  Some Corinthian Christians expected Paul to be an outstanding preacher in might, wisdom and power.  Instead, Paul arrives in the community to preach God’s power in weakness, fear and trembling.  When we are weak, God is strong.  When we admit our faults and seek forgiveness, then we regain our salt.  We relight our lamps.

Brothers and sisters, we always find enough seasoning for faith here at the Eucharist.  But did you know, if we are not good seasoning here in the Church, someone out in the world will beg to differ?

The Rev. Fr. Dr. T. Becket A. Franks, O.S.B.

5th Sunday

Cycle A

Sunlight

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