The Sadness of Being Ordinary
When the Israelites finally enter the promised land, their mission was to be an example to the pagan people they encounter (or else, in some scriptures, kill them all less they become a temptation). They are supposed to show them the worship of the true God. However, they soon give in to the temptation that keeps so many from achieving the greatness to which they are called; they decide that it is easier to just be like everyone else. They start worshiping false gods and sacrificing even their children to idols. They give up their identity as God’s chosen people to be just ordinary.
This is one of the greatest temptations that afflicts the Church to this day. Not long ago, you could tell who was Catholic apart from the rest. We had a unique identity. Now, in so many ways, Catholics are “just like every body else.” Abortion, contraception, divorce…Catholics are almost indistinguishable now from the general population. We’ve given up our special mission to be salt and light and to convert the world and have instead allowed the world to convert us. The rich young man in the gospel today is given the special call to follow Jesus if he will only detach himself from the worldly ways represented by his possessions. Unfortunately, he says no to Jesus’ invitation and goes away sad. Will we continue to try to be just ordinary, like everyone else? What will be our answer to Jesus’ invitation?