Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

(Colossians 1:1-8; Luke 4:38-44)

When a President is leaving office, political commentators reflect on his legacy. They speculate on how the President will be remembered in history. They said, for example, that Bill Clinton wanted to be remembered for bringing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which he almost achieved. They might have said that George W. Bush wanted to be known as the education President for the “No Child Left Behind” initiative, but that endeavor was eclipsed by the enormity and the cost of the war against terror. Individuals today also are often taken up with legacy. Some want to be remembered for their philanthropy; others, for their stylish fashions; and others for their independent nature.

By contrast to the contemporary preoccupation with legacy, the first reading today notes how the Christians of Colossae are concerned about destiny. The writer, who is probably a disciple of Paul, remarks that the love this community has for Christians from other places springs from their hope of heaven. Typical of Pauline epistles, the reading actually focuses on the three so-called theological virtues. It indicates that faith in Jesus as Lord moves Christians to imitate his love for others and to hope for the eternal glory that he experienced.

Faith, hope, and love then lead us to God, which is why they are called theological. They form a solid basis which, like R. Buckminster Fuller’s amazing geodesic dome made from triangles, becomes stronger the more times these basic elements are multiplied.