September 12, 2012 - Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

1 Corinthians 7.25-31
Psalm 45.11-12, 14-15, 16-17 Resp. 11
Luke 6.20-26

In the psalm, the princess is told to forget her former life, because she will be building a new life now. She should forget her nation and her father’s house, because she will have sons instead. It is true that she will always be a daughter, but she is crossing the threshold where she will be seen not as the daughter of her parents but as the mother of her children. None of us are likely to be in the position of an pre-modern princess, but we still proclaim this psalm because we Christians are in a similar situation. We are called to leave behind this life and begin building our new life. In the Gospel, Jesus blesses those who lack something and curses those who have everything they want. If this life has all we need, then we will be unwilling to be torn away from it, but we will have to leave it anyway. The rich will weep because their Lexus is no more.

St. Paul assures us that this world is passing away. He recommends a radical shift in perspective, away from the old, toward the new. This is difficult when we cannot be sure of how much time is left. We do not know if this world will be around for another day or another 10,000 years. Since St. Paul wrote these words, almost 2000 years have passed. Would he have expected that a child in his time would grow up, have a family, live a full life, and die, all without the world ending?

But the end of the world is not only true in a literal, general way. It is also true in a personal way. Not merely that we will die someday and that will be our own little end of the world. The end of our world is something we work toward. Every choice we make is either in favor of the old way, or in favor of the new way. We make the old world end when we choose the new world. When the end of the world comes, whether generally speaking or our own death, we will be prepared by whether we chose the new world in our life. If we lived stuck in the old world, death is scary because it is the end. If we lived striving for the new world, death is exciting because it is the beginning.