Maccabees 7:1, 20-31
17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
It certainly is obvious that the 'climate' of our scripture readings
has shifted dramatically. It's that chilling effect that eschatology
has on the bones.
In the first reading, we are encouraged by another larger than
life story from the time of the Macchabean revolt (late 2nd century before
Christ) meant to encourage us to be strong in faith and persevere in the service
of God as we live now, today.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges the crowds with this tough parable
about responsibility for living the Christian life. The one who reneges
and, out of fear, hides his coin, loses what he had. If that isn't
enough, the one who had ten coins gets the extra one. And, to add insult
to injury, the nobleman calls for the heads of his enemies. Yikes!
Get the point?
After having witnessed earlier this week, the blind man and Zaccheus
finding their way to salvation, Jesus gives today's uncompromising words to
Why does it take so long to "get the point?" Why does it take so long
to turn fully to God?
One more try: Two old friends, Jack and Ralphie, go fishing all
the time. Ralphie calls Jack and tells him he has discovered the best
method for catching fish ever - "It's indisputable!" He tells his buddy. But,
he won't disclose his secret find to Jack. "I'll see ya Saturday at
the boat. You just be there!"
Saturday morning and they're out there on the lake. It's a beautiful
day already on a cool, but soft morning. Jack is all fired up to find
out what Ralphie has come up with.
Ralphie opens his tackle box, picks out a hand grenade, shows a dumb-founded
Jack, pulls the pin, and throws the grenade overboard. BOOM! Water
everywhere! And, the fish just bob to the surface. While Jack
sputters and fumes, Ralphie calmly scoops out the fish in his net. "You
can't do that, Ralphie! You'll be arrested. If I had half a mind,
I'd arrest you right now, in fact."
Meanwhile, Ralphie picks out another grenade, pulls the pin, hands it to
Jack and say, "You gonna talk or you gonna fish?"
So, are we gonna talk or are we gonna fish?