The Extremes of God

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by Food for Thought

FirstReading: 1 Cor 12:31-13:13
Psalm: Ps 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 And 22
Gospel: Lk 7:31-35

Jesus complains in today’s Gospel that the generation by which he’s surrounded is very much like little children, who want everyone else to adapt to their momentary and transient moods. They want everyone to dance to the tunes they play.

A perfect example of what Jesus is talking about is the attitude of his generation towards John the Baptist and Jesus himself. John they see as an extreme right-winger, whereas Jesus is at the far left of the politico-religious spectrum. John’s God would lay the axe to the root of the tree, separate the chaff from the grain and toss the chaff into the fire. Jesus’ God wants to save all men and women, to bring the wanderer home again, welcoming him back with a family celebration.
Neither of these God-images suits the God of Jesus’ generation. The God John announces, his generation find much too hard, too demanding. The God Jesus proclaims they see as a hedonist.

St. Johnthe Evangelist, and St. Paulhave revealed to us the essence of God. God is love, St. John wondrously tells us. From his love flow all cultures and religions, all races and peoples in our world. From his divine love flows the human love that gathers all men and womeninto one, single family of God.

Today’s first reading Paul describes love. He is in fact describing God since, as John teaches us, God is love. God, therefore, and love are patient, they are kind. There is in God and in love no jealousy, no self-seeking, no anger. There is no limit to the power of God and of love to endure.

We should pray that all of God’s children, no matter what their culture or religion, will come to the realization that love is God’s essence, and allow this truth to motivate their behavior. We can then
truly be one family of God, no matter how else our God-images might differ, one from the other.