St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

3rd Sunday, Year B (25 Jan 2015)

"Direct our actions, Lord, according to your good pleasure."

The Collect today says let us pray like this: "Direct our actions, Lord, according to your good pleasure." But what is the direction of our actions? What is the intention behind our actions? What do we really want?

During a conversation with a leading university professor, he let slip this remark: “If I didn’t have chemistry, I would kill myself.” In the very way we take things in, something like this is always involved, even if we are not aware of it. There is always something which makes our lives worth living in our own eyes, and while we might not reach the point of wishing to die, without it everything would be colourless and disappointing. Man offers all his devotion to that “something,” whatever it may be. It is our small "god".

If we don't foster our dependency on God, then we will make other things our small god. Which things? Well, St Paul makes a list of possible things in the second reading. Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who enjoy life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

​Jesus calls us today to conversion. Follow me. Don't follow your wife (sorry!, mm... this is going to be an issue). Don't follow your mourning. Don't follow your enjoyment of life, don't have as a god your own pleasure. Don't follow what you have, what you have after shopping. Don't be engrossed in your dealings with those important for the world. All these things pass away. You are not going to bring them with you when you pass away. Follow me, says Jesus. You won't regret it. Jesus says: he who follows me will have eternal life and a hundredfold here below. You will find a new strength, a new ardour, a new taste, a new freedom in your relationship with your wife, your children and your friends, a hundred times more passion for work, enjoyment of nature.

I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. If you aim at Jesus, the light, you will see everything better.

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown it. Aim at earth and you get neither". C. S. Lewis