Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ezekiel 28:1-10; Matthew 19:23-30)

The sports car wove in and out of three lanes as it moved up the highway.  It easily exceeded the sixty mile per hour speed limit, perhaps reaching eighty or more.  Its driver, succumbing to the same temptation as Eve in the garden, was acting as if he were a god.  Defying both traffic laws and death, the driver evidently thought that the limitations which felt by most humans did not apply to him.  We hear of the same kind of arrogance in the reading from Ezekiel today.

The prophet notes that the prince of Tyre calls himself a god.  The prince has accumulated a hefty treasure by his commercial acumen.  His fault is that, like other rich people, he thinks that his money insulates him from loss.  Ezekiel predicts that he will come to a violent end because he does not recognize his vulnerability.  He is not a god but a man doomed to an ignoble death.

Centuries later Jesus shows what real godly behavior looks like.  He turns on end every social expectation of a god.  He lords over no one.  He does not even own anything.  Rather he serves all, choosing to be last so that his Father, if it is his will, can make him first.