In our current message series, Holy Triage, we are looking at the areas of our lives that need spiritual healing. In the first week, we talked about setting healthy priorities. Last week we talked about the problem of social competition to help us avoid unnecessary anxiety and insecurity.
This weekend, we explore the power, transformation, and spiritual healing that can happen by making and keeping commitments. Everyone is committed to something. When you go to the bank to borrow money, you sign a contract. You are committed. When you take a job, you are committing to do your best. You are committed. When you were baptized and you became a member of our wonderful Saint Brendan Parish, you are committed to worship here and support the works of evangelization by the giving of your time and resources.
Indeed, commitment is the currency of communal existence. To understand better the power of commitment, we need to recognize two dimensions of commitment. The first dimension is promise-keeping. Any commitment is a promise of relationship. The second dimension extends the promise over time, which means, I will not just honor my commitment today. I will continue to follow through on my commitment. I will do what I say I will do. This is the kind of commitment God desires.
In the book of Numbers 30:2, the Bible says, “if a man commits unto the Lord or swears an oath, he has to bind himself and not break his words.” Also in 1 Kings 8:61, it says, “And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God.” In Luke 9:62 Jesus says, “No one who puts his hands on the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
But one of the serious problems facing religious-minded people today is that, while lip service is given to God, many are not truly committed to him. This lack of commitment is seen in a variety of ways, including a lack of interest in spiritual growth and knowledge of the Bible; sporadic attendance at worship services; and failure to give back a significant portion of our time, talent, and treasure to God. The commitments we make shapes our identity and heals our souls. We find joy and fulfillment whenever we follow through on our commitments.
Today our first reading and the gospel have a lot in common. Both of them show that God has no favorites but chooses and uses those who are committed and pleasing to him. It also proves to us that the spirit of God is the one that empowers us to do good and be committed to God, especially in acts of charity, so that we will not be caught up in the wailings and cries of the rich who exploit the poor. Indeed, commitment heals the soul and gives us joy.
--Father Celestine Tyowua, Parochial Vicar
Father Roger Gustafson