Who Are You Trying To Impress?
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: Nov 5, 2017
Who do you try to impress? Are there certain people or a certain group of people that you try to impress? Maybe you try to impress people where you work or maybe friends or maybe you try to impress God? Jesus speaks about the religious leaders who do all they do to be seen by others. They like to have places of honour and be greeted with respect as though they are very important, more important than others.
But, spending our life worrying about impressing others, even about impressing God, leads us away from inner peace and away from a true life of service.
Psalm 131, short, but very beautiful image. One of my favourites. “I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother.” Imagine a little baby being gently held in its mother’s arms. We are not to live our life trying to impress others, not even God, but live our life resting in God’s arms, like we are being held as a baby in its mother’s arms. Prayer? Rest in God’s arms, let yourself be held by God. Key to inner peace is to rest in God, not to worry about impressing others, not worrying about who is superior, who is best, who is greatest, who is most loved. Living in inner peace, resting in God, allows us to focus on serving others rather than trying to impress them. It is the key to good leadership.
Good leadership, as a parent, as a business leader, religious leader, political leader, key is to have inner peace, rest in God, not trying to impress anyone, then that leadership will based on serving others alone.
This gives us a vision of the Church, we are all to be united as brothers and sisters, we are all equal, no one is over the others, any authority is only for the sake of service, not power over others, not being better than others.
Not looking around at others, I am better than them, I am superior to them. I am more deserving than them. This is the way to division.
The purpose, the mission of the church is to serve in such a way that we prepare the way, to God’s will for one human family, human beings living as brothers and sisters. We see in our world divisions, we are better, we are superior, we are right. Great movement of the Holy Spirit in the past 70 years, we as Christians no longer enemies, no longer against each other, rather as Catholics we see our fellow Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ. Christian unity helps us to serve the world in calling all people to live as brothers and sisters before the one Creator.
World – full of divisions, one country against another, one race against another, one political group against another.
We as Catholics in the Church are called to serve the world by being instruments of peace, not to dominate the world but to serve it by working for unity.
So, do not spend energy worrying about impressing anyone, not even God. Rather live your life as one who is resting in God’s arms, like a baby in its mother’s arms. Then you will find that inner peace that allows you to be an instrument of peace, one who brings unity rather than division.