Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Exodus 32:14-24.30.34; Matthew 13:31-35)
In a famous remark John Lennon once boasted that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. It was a brash statement that exaggerated even the Beatles’ fame, but it did indicate the hold that idols have on people’s consciousness. Just as the Beatles commanded the attention of young people forty years ago, the golden calf stirs the imagination of the Israeiltes in the reading from Exodus today.
What could the people have possibly seen in the golden calf made with their own hands? Was it the magnificence of gold that gleamed in their eyes or the vitality that the image of a calf conjures? In any case the object was sinful because the first commandment of the Decalogue prohibited such images. Their attention is to be riveted on God who fulfills all their needs.
Like the Israelites people today often turn created things into idols. Some talk about food as if they lived only to eat. Others seem preoccupied with transformable devices that serve as telephones, computers, cameras, and what have you. We must be wary of such pursuits and keep God in the forefront of our minds. Only He provides what is necessary for a life truly worth living.