May 7, 2007
Last night some of the brothers were watching The Amazing Race, so I checked it out. Usually I don't watch "reality" TV. I watched a whole season of one show once, and was alarmed at how emotionally involved I became with the fate of the contestants! As the winning team was approaching the finish, one of them started praying that God would let them win so that they could have the prize money.
So I thought: is God like that? Does God intervene in our affairs to create winners and losers, whether it be in game shows or families or history?
When I heard the first reading today, the scene from the Acts of the Apostles in which the people try to proclaim Paul and Barnabas as Hermes and Zeus, it all made sense. Zeus is the kind of God we often want; a God given to making winners and losers, a God whose actions confirm our own desires by imitating them.
But this is not the God revealed by Jesus Christ. Here is a God who insists on giving people their freedom and who refuses to control human affairs: "If you are the Messiah, come down from the cross!"
Our God is not a God who makes winners out of those who love and serve him, but who asks those who love him to identify themselves with the losers of history, with those who serve and wash feet.