On this evening I found myself in pleasant company leaving work…the three people I said farewell to are headed the same place I am in a few minutes…to church. I felt warm in knowing, contrary to popular culture, that some people out there still believe the evening is about more than a simple drinking fest..it is about thanking God for another tour around the sun!
Today’s scripture reading in the Divine Office from Colossians 2:4-15 hits that point on the nose: “See to it that no one deceives you through any empty, seductive philosophy that follows mere human traditions, a philosophy based on cosmic powers rather than on Christ.” It is to God that we owe thanks…not the maker of Miller, Jack Daniels, or whatever else there is.
The homily by St Leo the Great reminded us, “For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man. Henceforth he is reckoned to be of the stock, not of this earthly father, but of Christ, who became Son of Man precisely that men could become sons of God; for unless in humility he had come down to us , none of us by our own merits could ever go up to him.”
I’m not implying we need to forgo a nice glass of wine, but we need to forgo the culture and philosophy of worshiping those earthly things for the sake of themselves. In many ways, abuse of anything takes our eyes off the prize. It could be internet addiction, money, sports, you name it…anything pulling too hard will hurt our time we should rather be spending to build up the kingdom of God. Just watch a few minutes of commercials during a bowl game or the parties tonight and you’ll see what I mean in spades!
So there is my resolution. Get control of things that distract and get God put back in charge.
I hope you have a noble resolution as well!
Happy New Years Eve!