In today’s first reading, we see Paul walking around Athens and then addressing a gathered group stating that it was clear that they were a religious people with so many shrines to various gods around the city. He then told them of the one shrine dedicated to “the unknown god.” Paul then went on to present them with a kerygma. Some in the crowd were intrigued by his message and wanted to hear more.
Someone could visit our world and encounter various idols to false gods. They could look at the monstrous arms race that continues to eat away at the resources that could feed the whole world. They could see enormous mansions, skyscrapers, and monumental buildings in every city dedicated to corporate wealth and then be shocked by the extreme poverty of most of the world’s population. They could see the pornography and sex trade industries that literally and figuratively enslave many people. They might grasp how some parts of the world spend inordinate amounts of money and energy to lose weight from over-eating while many of the world’s population is starving and malnourished. The above examples demonstrate an idol in that it becomes a significant focus of many people’s lives.
We are called, commissioned, and mandated to speak the truth of Jesus. But Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading that “When he comes, the Spirit of truth, will guide you to all truth.” The Spirit of truth descended into the disciples’ hearts on Pentecost and into each of our hearts at Baptism and in Confirmation. Each time we celebrate the Eucharist, we participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus, who calls us to be, like him, broken and poured out in service to those suffering from today’s false idols, which crush them.
Let Us Pray:
God of all creation, you warned your people of old and us today to overthrow and toss down the idols which rejected you as our God and oppressed your poor. Give us an overflow of your grace that we might seek to reject the idols of today and reach out in loving service to the hungry, poor, homeless, and hopeless that we might rescue them from their plight and give them peace and hope and the experience of a loving God and savior in us. Amen.