What Will it Take?

September 29, 2019

Today the Gospel invites us to look into the message and the messenger.  God always sends us what we need and provides for us.  The challenge is making sure we catch and receive the message.  So often it takes a lot to wow us.  I can remember my sister taking my niece and nephew to Disney World when they were little.  Having always been around technology, I can remember one afternoon she shared with me they were bored.  Bored at Disney World!?  It was shocking to me.

It takes a lot to wow us.  Young people are very critical of the imaging on video games.  We have come a long way since Pac-Man and Pong, yet if the graphics of the game are sub-par the player is disappointed. It must be realistic.  Hollywood is challenged to design everything with incredible creativity to capture our attention.  What does it take to wow us?  I think the bar is set pretty high.  Yet that is at the core of the issue.  Are we missing the message because we are not wowed by the way God chooses to send the message?

I think on the flipside, fear and pain capture our attention very quickly.  We are quite aware of pain.  It stays with us.  We all have stories when physical pain overwhelmed us.  We all have stories when fear paralyzed us.  These seem to capture our attention more completely.  This is part of the Gospel as well.  Jesus suffered incredible pain for our sins.  He was crucified in a humiliating death while lifted on a cross.  This is a part of the message God is sharing with us.  In the parable everybody dies, both the rich and the poor.  The rich person wants to let others know that they need to wake up, they need to pay attention and they need to be wowed.

God hasn’t changed.  God is constant in His love.  His messenger Jesus walked upon the earth and died and rose from the dead.  What else do we need?  Sadly we have grown all too often comfortable with the facts.  We know intellectually Jesus rose from the dead.  However, emotionally allowing the wow factor of this reality to deepen our faith, to deepen our reaction so much that it changes our lives, sometimes falls short.  My impression is that we often neglect to ponder or reflect on the wonder of what took place.

God sent His son Jesus to the earth.  That same Jesus enters bread and makes it into His body.  We can’t even describe consecration, yet we believe it happens and it is true that it does.  To just sit in awe of this and allow it to overcome us and to overwhelm us is such a gift.

What will it take to wow us?  God will keep trying until He does.

Reverend  John J. Ouper