Readings: Amos 2:6-10, 13-16; Matthew 8:18-22
I find in interesting that I’ve never heard an American fundamentalist quote todays Gospel: that the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head. It’s as inconvenient to a suburban Christian life-style as what Jesus says about divorce. I could say much the same about Amos’ condemnation of those who trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth and force the lowly out of the way. Think of where that says about U. S. policies, domestic and foreign.
Both Mark’s Gospel and John’s imply that Jesus may have had a house–and the average house in his Galilee would have been a hovel by our standards–but his vocation meant that, indeed, he had nowhere to rest his head.
Such a house could not define or ever describe who he is, nor prevent his rejection and execution.
Although our society cannot admit it, we can actually own nothing, except as a legal fiction; we actually just use things for a while. If nothing else, death puts an end to the illusion of ownership. Perhaps that’s why we cling to things so fiercely, so defensively in this country.
We could–should!–employ what is at our disposal wisely and generously: stewardship is nothing more than considering all the ramifications of what we use, is assuming responsibility for our choices. The alternative is the mad attempt to escape ourselves or our responsibilities to one another by building walls around ourselves.
What I’m writing here is hardly original. Please don’t try to dismiss it as a liberal agenda: you’ll find it all in the teaching of Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI–none of whom can be dismissed as liberal thinkers by anyone’s standards. Anyway, they got it from Matthew, Amos and the other scriptural authors.