09 December 2016

Everybody's looking for something.

Today's readings:

  • Isaiah 48:17-19
  • Matthew 11:16-19

In the Douay, the RSV, or the NABRE with other Mass texts.

But whereunto shall I esteem this generation to be like? It is like to children sitting in the market place. Who crying to their companions say...
Matthew 11:16-17a

I listened to a sermon once, by a professed Atheist, who, having found a new psychological explanation for the idea of God, admitted that he now believed in this "only psychological" God, so he felt in communion with "you believers" even though we still insisted God was a person and he knew, really, that God was only an evolutionarily-necessary psychological construct. We were so lucky he could hang out with us now. Have you noticed that, taken to extreme, the "New" Atheism becomes a religion? Have you noticed that "spiritual but not religious" can become quite dogmatic? Have you ever noticed how new agey Carl Sagan sounded, or how philosophical Neil T can be even as he tries to deride philosophy? Unfounded on moral truths, man does not survive long or well without inventing others.

Of course the alternative is the smorgasbord: they like your religion as long as it agrees with them.

-You must accept LGTB folks because everyone is made in the image of God.
Where do you get that idea?
-From the Bible.
Well the Bible also says there's no such thing as LGTB people and sex outside of heterosexual marriage is evil.
-Oh, the Bible is all culturally biased, outdated mythology. They didn't know what we know now.

Or:

-Your religion is prolife so you must vote for Donald Trump
My religion also embraces the stranger, rejects untrammeled commerce, and tends to insist on social policies that care for the poor.
-That stuff is just opinion, the Church has no official teaching on those things.

God tells us again and again, that we can only find our peace in his justice. Yet he will let us reject him over and over. We want - crave, even - moral truth, rigidity. But we reject it when it shows up - especially if it leaves us on the outside. So we make up our own rigidity. Human beings, made in the image of God, know there is moral truth in the world and so we reject relativism - even if, as seems popular now, the only strict law there is is the law of relativism.

What is this generation crying out in the market? Over and over I hear, I want to be loved, but only on my terms - when it isn't even love to do so.