Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The town in which I was born and raised, St. Paul, Missouri, boasts of no famous personages. Media superstars? Tycoons? Politicians? Athletes? No, not even a newspaper reporter. Not that people seem to mind much, though. I don’t think they pay much attention to the fact. Most seem content with living their daily lives in rural Missouri—that provides enough excitement.

Since joining the Jesuits, I have found myself in locales with far more famous folks than St. Paul, Missouri. Compared to such places, St. Paul holds up remarkably well as a town to live. Wouldn’t anyone want to live among people who take to heart the words we hear at Mass today: “the person who is trustworthy in small matters will also be trustworthy in large matters”; “lead a life quiet and tranquil in all devotion and dignity.” The scriptural pattern is the pattern of happiness: not to pursue frantically the honor and glory of the world, but to find contentment in the life of humble yet noble virtue.

St. Ignatius would agree. From a man obsessed with the glamor of the world, he eventually counselled that we should pray to be hated by the world rather than to lose our souls in its deceits. What deceit or glamor prohibits ourselves from finding contentment in humble virtue?

September 22nd, 2013