|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at email@example.com.
Who is in Charge?
Who is in charge in your household? When it comes down to it, who is the one who decides? It might be split depending on what area of the household but you know who is in charge. Every now and then children think they are in charge of the household! There was once a YouTube video that received eight million hits called “Linda, Linda.” The child is 3 years old and his mother’s name is Linda.
“Linda, Linda, Linda, listen to me,” the child protests. This is a 3-year-old child talking to his mother as Linda. “Listen to me; listen to me; you don’t understand. I want the cupcake.”
Sometimes we are not much different when it comes to God. “Listen God; you are not listening to me, God. Listen. Listen. Listen to me. I want that. I want that. Listen. Listen to me. You are not listening to me, God. Listen to me. I want this.” That is so often our prayer life!
It is cute when we are 3. But at 23, 33, or 43 or 53 years old it is not that funny as a prayer to God. We often act just like spoiled children. Who do we really think is in control? Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we are in control.
I often wonder why our Church is not full every Sunday and I believe one reason is because we think we are in control and not God. We fool ourselves into some false self-sufficiency argument that we have it all together. We often say to ourselves, “I did it all on my own. I don’t need any one. Certainly, God didn’t do anything for me so why do I need to do anything for God. Nobody else helped me so why do I have to help anyone else?” That can be a really powerful argument that secular society has actually embedded in us and it is really hard to resist.
In today’s scriptures, we hear who is in charge. God is in charge. In the first reading, Ezekiel says, “Listen you people of Israel, just remember who is in charge; God, who created everything, is in charge.”
Jesus comes out with the same admonition for the farmer planting seeds. All the growth and potential of the seed is there because God put it there. The growth happens because God allows it to happen. In the end, we have to remind ourselves it is God who is in charge because it is God who creates us, it is God who sustains us and, in the end, it is God who completes us.
We come as humble servants, reminding ourselves of who is really in charge. We do not want to be a terror of a 3 year-old child, saying “Listen to me. Listen to me. You are not listening to me.” We will make no more demands. We humbly come to the Lord and say you are in charge; your Will be done in my life today.