Ordinary 6th Sunday – TRUST OR RUST

Ordinary 6th Sunday

Jer. 17: 5-8                               1Cor. 15: 12, 16-20                               Lk. 6: 17, 20-26

TRUST OR RUST

Theme:

Our happiness depends upon where we place our trust.

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We, human beings, are like creepers in garden. We need to rely on something else to elevate our lives to a higher level. There are two kinds of things which we can rely upon: One is the perishable and next, the imperishable. In order to elevate the quality and happiness of our life, we can rely upon either the perishable or the imperishable. The whole world is the combination of both perishable and imperishable aspects. For example, the trunk of a tree is perishable while its life-principle is imperishable. While human body is perishable, the Spirit which animates the body is imperishable. The whole material world is perishable and that which sustains this material world is imperishable. God is the sum total of all that is imperishable.

Trusting the Perishable:

Joseph Kennedy was the father of former American President John Kennedy. Once someone asked Joseph Kennedy, “What are the three most important things to win in American Presidential election?” Joseph Kennedy openly confessed, “The first is money, the second is money and the third is money.” Not only to win in election, but also to live joyfully and happily, many believe that they need more money, more wealth and more possession.

There are plenty of human-made, perishable things in the world – material things, money, power, position, fame, name etc.. Many of us believe that these things are indispensable in our life and without them there is no real happiness. Though it is true that these things are needed to certain extent to meet some of our basic needs, what we don’t realize is that they have nothing to do with deeper level of satisfaction and fulfilment we unconsciously search for. Because of this unawareness, many of us tend to place our trust in these perishable things.

When we look at human history we understand that those people, who placed their trust on perishable things – and the percentage is quite high – have realized that their life has been empty and meaningless. We can give a long list of Alexander, Napoleon, Ceasars etc.. Trusting the perishable is like a creeper sprawlings upon a dying branch. At any moment, the dying branch may collapse. So also is the creeper!

That is the precise reason why God through Jeremiah revealed that such people, who place their trust in the perishable, are cursed ones – not that God curses them, but they incur curse upon themselves and ruin their own lives. The reason why Jesus pronounced woes against the rich is not because wealth is something bad in itself, but because the rich are more prone to place their trust on their wealth than on God. They don’t realize that wealth which brings short-term happiness, is the cause of long-term suffering.

Trusting the Imperishable:

On the contrary, when people place their trust in God, they hold on to something that is life-giving, life-elevating and life-fulfilling. God alone is the imperishable reality in the world and so God alone can be the sure foundation of our life. Trusting the perishable is having the foundation on quicksand, while trusting the imperishable is like having it on a rock (Mt. 7: 24-27). Holding on to God and placing our trust in God is equal to a creeper that thrives on a living branch.

A person who places his trust in God will realize that there is no end to one’s hope, that there is no dearth of happiness in one’s life, and that one is supplied by a reservoir. Such people are considered to be blessed. One reason why Jesus calls the poor blessed is, not because poverty is virtuous, but because the poor, on account of their poverty, are more prone to trust God since they don’t have anything else to rely upon.

There was a famous sage, who carried a smiling face wherever he went. People have never seen him with a sad face. It intrigued many. Many wondered at him by saying, ‘How come he does not get affected by the woes of life! How come he is able to carry a cheerful face all the time!’ One day someone asked him, “You are able to maintain a cheerful disposition always. Can you please tell me the secret of it? Is it because you don’t have any problem?” He answered, “No! Like anybody else,  I have my own share of problems and difficulties in my life. However I don’t much worry about them. This is the reason. A few years back, I realized that a person tends to worry only when one thinks that the situation is more powerful than himself. I also realized that God is in me and He is more powerful than anything else in the world. Consequently I strongly believe that there is no situation  which is more powerful than me. If so, where is the place for anxiety and worry? From that day onwards, every day I make a conscious decision to be aware of God who is always with/in me. It makes me feel that I am more powerful than any situation I encounter in my life. It gives me enough confidence to rise above everything else in life.”

If we have more perishable things in our lives, then it is we who have to take care of them. It demands a great amount of energy and effort. Instead, if we rely upon God more, then we will understand that it is this imperishable God who takes care of and protects us. It leads to relaxation and restfulness.

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