1 Cor 2:1-5 / Lk 4:16-30
A long backward glance across the 20th century, in which all but the youngest of us were born and have lived our lives, reveals an extraordinary sequence of technological developments that are continuing to change our lives. Whether in the fields of health or communication, travel or commerce, the changes in our daily experiences and in our expectations of what can and should be the norm are extraordinary.
But there’s a dark side to the times we’ve lived through: wars, famines, the destruction of rivers, lakes, and millions of acres of fields and forests. And under each hurtful act, each destructive choice, is a voice that says, “All that matters is that I get what I want!”
That silent voice spoke inside the hearts of Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, and countless millions of ordinary people who somehow persuaded themselves that they were the center of the universe. And sometimes that lying voice can be heard inside our own hearts.
That’s why St. Paul’s words in today’s epistle are so refreshing. By the time he wrote this, he was already an internationally-known religious leader, revered by people on several continents. But he hadn’t lost his perspective. He still knew what his life was supposed to be about, and that was Jesus.
We who are so blessed are particularly vulnerable to being victimized by ego and taking ourselves too seriously. There’s no better antidote than to give thanks for God’s gifts and to remember that we’re supposed to be carrying those gifts to those who need them.
How far have your gifts gotten?
And that leads us to today’s question: Are God’s gifts getting to their intended destinations?