Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Spiritual Thought

The first reading from Numbers at Mass this morning...
THE WAY MY MIND WORKS: Just once, it would be a laugh to have a Lector come up to the ambo and say, "A reading from the Book of Numbers: four, twelve, thirty-six, one hundred and twenty, nineteen, eighty-eight, ..."  But I digress.  Back to our show.
... has the Israelites complaining to Moses:  "Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the desert, where there is no food or water?"  They're mad at Moses for gaining them freedom!  In Egypt, they got "fleshpots and bread" (Ex 16:3), fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Num 11:5).  Slavery had become "safe" and "easy", with an abundant supply of food available.  So much so that they'd come to resent freedom.

For us, too, changing our lives, living in freedom, is harder than staying the way we're used to. We're more content remaining in slavery to our sins, rather than living in the freedom God calls us to and which our Baptism allows us to live.  Remember the scene in Shawshank Redemption in which Brooks, an old man released from prison after decades behind bars, commits suicide because he can't handle a life in which decisions are not made for him?

In slavery, the decisions are made for us; freedom requires decision-making and responsibility.  Our culture had glorified the status of "victimhood"; we crave having someone else to blame for the way our life has turned out (either remotely - "My parents never bought me the DVD player I wanted" - or proximately - "That jerk ahead of me is driving too slow and now I'm going to be late!").  


Ernie said...

I laughed so hard about the numbers joke (I will have to remember that one). Keep on blogging love your Blog.

Aaron Traas said...

Or the constant whining on rad-trad sites that Summorum Pontificum doesn't say that all priests, even those not pastors, have the right to say nothing but the extraordinary form, and preach that the ordinary form is sinful and displeasing to God.

We seriously live in a culture of whiners that makes ancient Israel look obedient.