14th Sunday after Pentecost 15.9.19 Security
The best kept secret is: that obedience to God brings more happiness than does disobedience.
Or similarly that trust in God brings more peace of mind than doubting Him.
Or generosity brings more satisfaction than hoarding one’s possessions.
One could go on through all the different polarities; the pattern will be the same.
The epistle today lists the good fruits that come from God and taking Him seriously – charity, joy, peace, patience, chastity.. and also the bad fruits that follow whenever we try to do it without God – quarrels, dissensions, envies, murders etc.
We live in a world where most people do it the wrong way, and this creates a lot of chaos.
All the more reason we must do it the right way: obey God in all things; trust Him at all times; give of ourselves rather than try to hang on to our false securities.
This we must do even if we are the only one; even if we are ridiculed by all around us.
It is the best way and the only way to make sense of it all.
God will provide whatever is needed for all who put their trust in Him.
It is a bit more complicated for us than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field (Gospel). But the principle is the same.
God provides for us but we have to do some work ourselves. He does not just deliver things ready-made from Heaven. We can use some human ingenuity to arrange things. (Even human ingenuity comes from God).
He provides in ways that involve us and require our cooperation.
For example, He sends rain to water the earth, and we meanwhile will plant the right crops, learning as we go. Then we turn those crops into food and we eat the food. So God has provided, and we have received; but also we have participated in the process.
We are tempted to accumulate resources for ourselves (especially money). Our Lord warns against too much self-reliance. Do not be like the foolish man who thought all he had to do was build bigger barns (Lk 12,16-21).
We can pile up money but it will not save us from sudden death or incapacity, should they come.
Did warriors strong around me throng, they could not stay [death’s] power.
God expects us to trust Him, not the assets we may have. We cannot cover every detail, no matter how hard we try; there are too many things that could go wrong.
Preoccupation with our security will paralyse our response to God. He expects us to walk in trust, wherever that takes us, even to the miraculous.
With God on our side who can be against us? (Rom 8,31)
If we obey Him and are generous with our possessions, we will see the path opening before us.
We have to obey first to get the full effect. This is part of our ‘participation’. Many will demand a sign from God before they give Him any consideration. They want manna from Heaven; they do not want to exert themselves in faith.
God, for His part, will withhold blessings to see if we can trust in Him.
He can do more with humble and contrite hearts.
If we do follow the general principles then we will see results.
If we cannot achieve a miracle we will benefit from trying. But we have much more chance of seeing a miracle if we live as God directs.
Our true and only security is in Christ. Give Him an obedient and joyful response and there is no telling how much good can come from that.