Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
>>There’s an 85 year old guy who did nothing but complain. Complained about his wife, his kids, the grandkids, the neighborhood, everything. He was riding the donkey into town and starts complaining about the donkey. “Donkey, you smell your old, you’re slow.” The donkey gets so angry, he flips the guy off his back in the river and the guy drowns.
Now the widow is at the old man’s wake and a priest and coroner notices that every time a man comes up to the grieving widow, she shakes her head no. Every time a woman comes up, a grieving widow shakes her head yes. The wake is over and the priest says, “I hate to get personal, but I notice that every time a man came up to you you shook your head no. Every time a woman. You shook your head yes. Why?” The woman simply said, “Every time a man came up to me would ask: Is there anything I can do for you? No, thank you. I’m fine. Every time a woman came up to me, she would ask: Can I borrow the donkey?”
That joke cracks me up. It’s so easy spending our whole life complaining and focusing on what I do not have that we may forget the many great gifts from God we already possess. We can spend our whole lives justifying and rationalizing our actions and behavior because everyone else is doing it. By being given a bad break by God anyway or I deserve better.
Do we never confront ourselves in the mirror with real honesty? We can spend our whole lives kidding ourselves and thinking, ‘I’ll make changes in my life starting tomorrow.’ Realizing tomorrow becomes another yesterday. We’re all so good at procrastinating. We listen in today’s Gospel, for everyone who exalts themselves shall be humbled, while the person who humbles himself shall be exalted.
There was a group of people who gathered for the first time to investigate the Cave of Truth. It was a very long and very deep cave with many twists and turns. They needed the help of a guide to get people through this Cave of Truth.
The guide asked this group of people about two ready to go into the cave, “How far do you want to go into the cave?” How far do you want to go into this cave? So, the group of people went off by themselves and discussed it. They returned a little while later and said to the guide, their answer, “Take us just so far into the cave we can be said to have been there.” We need to honestly face ourselves with our limitations, frustrations, broken dreams, and not run from the truth of ourselves. And with humility, ask the Lord to change us, transform us into His disciples. The truth is, we need to be honest with ourselves and live each day for God and in God.
With a repentant heart, be able to say, like Saint Paul, “I have fought the good fight. I have kept the faith.” There’s a beautiful line that goes like this: No one can go back and start a new beginning, but starting today we can make a new ending. Or the other one, I so beautiful, love: No matter how many steps we take away from God, it only takes one step to get back to God.
Sir 35:12-14, 16-18
2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18
Lk 18:9-14 (150)