Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 18, 2019

Life is complicated. We come into this world with our peculiar personalities and physical quirks. We are born into families with their particular personalities and quirks. We find ourselves in different communities, neighborhoods, and social groups throughout the years. There are the overarching social conventions that unite us (more or less) as a society. Then, there are the rules imposed by any number of layers of government and bureaucracy. Life is complicated.

Of course, we often tend to make it more complicated along the way. For example, you tell a white lie because you don’t want to upset someone: “I can’t make the party because I have another commitment.” Really, you just want to do some chores and get to the grocery store before you run out of food. Besides, you really don’t like spending that much time with that group of acquaintances. They are nice and all, but you would rather do chores and buy groceries than hang out with them. Of course, you don’t want to tell them all that, so you tell the white lie.

You all know where this goes. Someone finds out, you get confronted, drama ensues, and things are worse than if you had just told the person the truth, that you didn’t like spending time with them. In how many situations have we made things more complicated for ourselves?

A friend of mine is nicknamed “Double­ Booking” Dave. He has a notorious habit of saying yes to things without checking his calendar, and then canceling on people at the last moment when he figures out what he did. Often a situation is far more complicated than it needs to be, and frustrating, because he wouldn’t do the simple task of checking his calendar before saying yes.

It is easy to blame “life” for being complicated or simply busy. Yes, there is much that we are subject to that is outside our control. We did not choose which family to be born into, and so on. In truth, though, how often do we do it to ourselves. We are the ones who say yes to too much; we are the ones who avoid conflict now so that we have more conflict later; we are the ones with the bad habits that set us up for many of the problems in life.

It might be worth spending some time reading and reflecting on Luke 10:38-42, one of the short stories about Mary and Martha.

~ Father Aaron Ferris

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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