In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us the fate that lies ahead for those of us who claim the name of Jesus: persecution, forced testimony, families torn limb from limb, possibly even death. If we speak in the name of Christ, we will be hated by all. (Luke 21:12-19)
Yet, what if we don’t? What if instead, we worship lesser gods of our own creation, pale imitations of Jesus Christ? Would we truly know God if He stood in our midst? When we speak, which god/God are we praising?
The First Reading from Daniel paints a picture of a people worshipping such lesser gods. They host a party where precious vessels looted from the house of God are used for the petty drunken entertainment of the powerful. Enjoying themselves, they praise the counterfeit gods of gold and silver and their endless bounty, rather than the God of all the universe who called us as stewards of His Creation. (Daniel 5:1)
What God has given us in the form of Creation and Christ, these riches are of inestimable worth that sustain our bodies and souls. Yet in the worship of our lesser gods—money, power, consumption—we have worshipped the false god of “bounty” while ignoring the true bounty our Creator has given, despite our squandering.
Today we are called to speak up for God, not our lesser gods, and to ask ourselves What we are willing to suffer out of love for His Creation?
Let’s consider how we can show our adoration and love for God today. What do we want to tell Him in our heart?
Sarah Babbs is a writer and mother of three, including twin toddlers. She writes about faith, social teaching, and navigating life as a motherless daughter and mother. You can find out more about her here.