Sunday Readings Reflection: Seek Truth, Not ComfortSeptember 18, 2016 - Spirituality & Theology
The world loves comfort. Our society promotes countless “virtues” and “values” which have the clear goal of granting to the individual comfortable living. Abundant material goods allow us to live in physical comfort. An unhealthy obsession with moral freedom allows us to do what we want, regardless of the implications.
Christianity is not about comfort. It is, in fact, about discomfort. It’s main symbol is an instrument of torture. It was the death of God that gained us our salvation. The mystery of the cross is beyond our comprehension. We cannot rationalize it, but yet thousands upon thousands of Christians have accepted persecution and even the crown of martyrdom simply for professing its reality. Nowhere in the Gospel does Christ proclaim that his disciples would be comfortable in following him. It is quite the opposite. He warns us of persecution, revilement, ridicule, and death. He requires his disciples to leave themselves behind and abandon everything to Him, cautioning that we will have to carry countless crosses and burdens on His account.
In today’s Gospel, our Lord confronts us with an ultimatum: “A servant cannot serve two masters…you cannot serve both God and mammon” (Lk. 16:13). We must choose between serving God and serving ourselves, between following the teachings of the Lord, and following the teachings of the world.
Here, we must be careful. If we choose Christ, then we will pay for it. We will suffer, for certain. That’s part of the bargain. But this very bargain gives us cause for rejoicing, for Christ has conquered the world! What we get from this bargain, a personal relationship with the living God, is so sweet a reward. There is nothing that is more worth suffering than knowing our God, who calls Himself our Father and our Brother.
We must not choose to pursue comfort! We must not choose to follow the world! Doing so may seem quite good for a while, even until our final seconds, but in the end, we will know we have chosen wrong. As C. S. Lewis so eloquently articulated, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” To pursue truth means to pursue Christ, who is Himself “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn 14:6).
For all people, especially Christians, the call of the cross cannot be put away or shoved aside. It is ever present in our minds and in our hearts. If we listen, we shall hear the voice of our risen Lord urging us, “Take up your cross and follow me!”