August 30, 2020

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who do you want God to be? Do you ever stop to ponder that question? We have all inherited many different ideas about who God is, some helpful, others unhelpful. But who do you want God to be, and how do you want God to act? Answering those questions may go a long way in helping us understand ourselves and God better.

Consider our readings today. The prophet Jeremiah famously remarks that God has “duped” him. It’s clear that Jeremiah wants God to act in a way other than God acts. And, it seems Jeremiah wants God’s actions to bring honor and recognition to Jeremiah. Consider also today’s gospel reading. Peter wants Jesus to act in a way that runs contrary to Jesus’ nature. Indeed, as we know from scripture, Jeremiah and Peter loved God and desired to be close to God. “Their souls thirsted for God,” to use the psalmist’s phrase. However, they also had other motivations. At times they wanted God to be other than who God is. That desire reveals more about them than it does about God. God is free. And as we know from Scripture, God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). So, when we say we love God, what do we mean? What do we love? Do we truly love God for who God is, in God’s complete freedom? Or do we love our own image of God?

These are challenging questions, but they have real consequences. Because how we are with God likely also reflects the way we are with other people. Think of the people you love most dearly. Do you love them in their freedom, or do you put conditions upon them? Do you love who you want them to be, or who they are? What do you love? In essence, all of this is an invitation for us to know ourselves better. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to set aside some of our projections of who God is, and to let God show us God’s self. Can you learn to love God simply for being? Amazingly, that’s how God loves you.

Let Us Pray:

Everlasting God, you who send your Spirit to nourish and guide us, teach us to love you as you love us. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Christman, SSS