Sunday, August 20, 2017

20th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 21-08-17

Judges 2:11-19 / Matthew 6:11-24

One of the major problems with the people of God in the Old Testament is the worshipping of idols, ie. idolatry.

They were called to be God's people and to worship the one true God and yet they turned to idols and bowed down and prostrated them in worship of images or idols that represented or were thought to embody various pagan deities.

But what was it that made them turn to idolatry? What was the attraction of idolatry that made them unfaithful to God who had showed them such great signs and wonders?

The attraction, and the seduction, came in many forms: fertility of animals and crop and the connected ritual sex, material gains, power and conquest of other nations, etc.

Being faithful to God would seem boring to say the least, with those laws and commandments, and they felt like losers compared to the other idol-worshipping pagans around them.

But what they fail to see is that they were also being slowly seduced by an evil power that was drawing them away from God, and leading them down the road of immorality and wickedness.

As we heard in the 1st reading, God punished them for their unfaithfulness but He also appointed judges to rescue them from their enemies. But once the judge was dead, they relapsed and behaved even worse than their ancestors. Obviously, the evil power never gives up in pulling the people away from God.

In the gospel, we heard of this rich young man who wanted to possess eternal life. Jesus wanted him to follow him on the condition that he gives up his earthly riches.

Jesus was trying to pull him out of the clutches of the idolatry of earthly wealth, but like his ancestors, he was too attracted and obsessed by it.

As for ourselves, do we know what earthly attractions we are attached to or obsessed with? Let us ask Jesus to pull us out of it and to be faithful to Him.

If Jesus is not our first above all, then in the end, we will have nothing at all; neither here nor in eternity.