An Honest Yes
Jesus gives us a parable this Sunday with a pretty simple meaning: Do what you say you’ll do – let your words and your deeds be one. I’ve always said that, according to the Gospels, Jesus detested two human failings most of all: greed and hypocrisy. Concerning greed, a lack of generosity and sense of justice caused terrible poverty and untold misery among Jesus’ neighbors. Jesus’ ethic of love simply does not permit us to hoard our wealth when others go hungry. What’s more, we find our own lives enriched and expanded when we learn to live simply and give boldly in life.
Hypocrisy was rampant around Jesus, as religious leaders often said one thing but did another. Actions speak louder than words, Jesus says, loud and clear.
As we contemplate God’s creation, we must confront our own hypocrisy. Do we claim we want to protect the environment, but then live wastefully? Do we go the extra mile to recycle as much as we can? Do we drive inefficient, gas-guzzling vehicles? Do we support public policies that honor the sacredness of the earth, the waters, and the skies? As all signs point to humanity changing the very climate of the earth – warming seas, rising sea levels, huger and wilder storms - are we willing to say so, and take action to mitigate this change for the good of all humanity and the whole earth?
Americans have always been huge consumers of resources, compared to the rest of the world. We are also huge polluters. We can do better. Jesus calls us to live more simply, so that others may simply live. JBM