Today’s readings speak to me about detachment. It seems fitting that we discuss detachment today on the feast of John Chrysostom. St. John was a great preacher (Chrysostom means golden-mouthed). Yet he lived a very ascetic life and was very unimposing, but dignified. I think he had the proper attitude of all his talents being gift and was very grateful for God’s grace.
In today’s first reading, Paul tells us that we should not be defined by the world “for the world in its present form is passing away.” We are not who the world says we are nor are we limited by what the world says we can or cannot do. Jesus extends this detachment from material ‘things’ to more abstract ideas of control, security and esteem. It is not to say that you reject or deny security or esteem or material comforts, but you do not depend on them and make them your priorities’ (idols) or try to gain or hold onto them at all cost. We need to let go of our fears so we can be courageous. We need to let go of our doubts so we can trust. We need to let go of being in control so we can be vulnerable. We need to let go of our need for affirmation to be free to say what is true. We need to let go of our need for security so we are free to risk everything for the building of God’s kingdom of unity.
Jesus tells us we are blessed if we have a healthy attitude of acceptance of all we have as gift, the bad and the good, understanding that the ‘things’ are not you nor are they proof of God’s love for you. The real you, the you God knows and loves, is not defined by the ‘things’ you have, or by the view that the world has of you.
What the world values is not what God values. What the world sees is not what God sees. Today’s Psalm sings of the beauty of who you are in God’s eyes. God desires your beauty over all others. You are glorious in God’s eyes. Listen to God’s song of love to you. Let go of everything else.
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