20 Jun 2015
We look around at the church and we wonder: Where is everybody? We look at all the people who can’t stand to be at Mass any longer than they have to be. And we wonder: Why are they so dissatisfied? Where are so many of our youth, and why is there such bitterness in the Church between this parish and that parish, between this group and that group?
Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon.” If we seek fulfillment in the world alone, then there’s no room for God in our lives. There’s no reason for anyone to come to church. That’s rather pointless. There’s no reason to be at Mass any longer than necessary. We’ve got other more exciting things to do.
We look around at the church and we wonder: Where is everybody? Are they out serving another master, something infinitely more important and worthwhile than God? Maybe their work, or the pleasures of money or trying to ‘get ahead’ in the world? We look at all the people who can’t stand to be at Mass any longer than they have to be. And we wonder: Are they in a rush to get out of here to sit at the feet of another master? A master somewhere in this world—maybe on the internet, maybe on tv, maybe on the sports field or even in the home where there’s more excitement and satisfaction to be found? What other master are they in a hurry to go serve?
We see this and we hear Jesus say: “No one can serve two masters.” You “will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” And he’s right, of course. We can see what happens when people choose not to hold God tightly in their hearts. It becomes a chore to worship God. Morality goes down. Faith suffers. The community falls apart. People fall into misery and anxiety, and they cling desperately to their fragile happiness. They are divided in their soul.
But then we have the saints; we know people who inspire us. And we see how they live. They’re more deeply happy and quietly joyful. They get through the tough times in life, a little bruised perhaps, but not destroyed. They’re always looking out for their neighbors. And we wonder: What makes them that way? Why are they at Mass and happy to be here? How do they just sit back and enjoy a leisurely Sunday? Why are they so satisfied?
Well, they know that, truly, “no one can serve two masters.” Their souls are not divided. They choose God above all else. They choose to serve and worship and hold close to their hearts the God of all that is truly good. Their faith is real. Their faith is alive. Their faith is in God alone—and it isn’t lip service.
And that’s what we aim for: an undivided, living faith in our God. That’s what will keep us satisfied. That’s what’ll keep us coming back to worship him at Mass. That’s what’ll keep our life on track. With God at the center of our lives, we can stop being anxious and divided, and we can just . . . live.