Saturday, December 14, 2013

On Goodness (Homily 58)

" of the world who have their portion in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are full of children and leave their substance to them. As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness. I will be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness." Ps. 17:14-15

Every good thing come from God (James 1:17), and He gives good things even to those who do not love Him (Matt. 5:44-45). He gives them passions to pursue and talents to realize those passions. He gives them minds to think and reason to arrive (in part) at the truth. He gives them hearts to love and the ability to find love, to see and appreciate beauty and desire its presence, to long for and attempt to deliver goodness to others. He gives them strength to accomplish things as well as various comforts to succor their weaknesses. He gives rain for their harvests and opportunities for their enterprises. He delivers their enemies into their hands and delivers them from their enemies. He gives them peaceful sleep and happy days, and all this without asking. It is and has been scandalous how good God is to those who do not love Him (Job 21:7-13; Ps. 73:2-5; Jer. 12:1-2). But there is one good thing He does not give them, for they do not, will not ask for it: Himself.

"I am restless for You."
God gives all good things because He is all good things. They find their source and being in Him and are meant to draw us to Him (Rom. 2:4) like rivers flowing to the ocean. The goodness of God belongs to all (Acts 14:17), but God Himself belongs only to His people, His children, His beloved and bride, to those who are satisfied with Him alone. One can never be satisfied with the goodness of God alone. You will always want more, reducing God to a blessing machine for your own avarice. But to have God Himself, to seek God and be found by God, is to find the Good behind the goodness and the goodness thrown in. Then His goodness is no longer a blessing but a bonus, for God is the blessing, the satisfaction of our souls (Ps. 42:1-2) when we taste and see that He is good (Ps. 34:8). Amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

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