18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B18
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks who went for a walk in the forest. Pretty soon she came upon a house. She knocked and, when no one answered she walked right in. At the table there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the 1st bowl and exclaimed “This porridge is too hot!” She next tasted the porridge from the 2nd bowl and said “This is too cold.” She finally tasted the porridge from the 3rd bowl and happily said “This is just right.” After eating she felt tired. So she walked into the living room where she saw 3 chairs. She sat in the 1st and exclaimed “This chair is too big.” She went to the 2nd, sat down and said “This is too big too.” Finally she sat in the smallest chair and sighed “This is just right.” But as soon as sat down, it broke!!! She was feeling very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in this 1st bed but it was too hard. She tried the 2nd and it was too soft. Then she lay down in the 3rd bed and it was just right. If you want to read the end of the story, go to the library.
Now why did I just tell the partial story of Goldilocks?
First of all, some people are never happy, content, or satisfied, complaining or nit-picking about they don’t have rather than recognizing what they do have. Such is the case in today’s readings.
We hear that the whole Israelite community is grumbling against Moses and Aaron. They had a point. They were hungry. The slavery they were subjected to in Egypt with their fleshpots and ample bread looked better than the starving freedom that was theirs in the desert. In the Gospel, the crowd, who has just eaten their fill of bread and fish, tracks down Jesus and asks for a sign, not realizing they had been given one already! And in the letter to the Ephesians, Paul counsels his readers to leave behind their old self, the former way of life and be renewed in the spirit and put on the new self. Apparently they were tempted to go half way.
Secondly, Goldilocks found a third way, a compromise, to satisfy her wants. We live in a time where compromise seems to be a dirty word. “It’s my way or the highway” and “I’m right; you’re wrong” are the mantras of “civil” (and I’m using that word sarcastically) discourse. We experience this in almost every facet of our life: politics, religion, sports, social media, and letters to the editor (particularly Rivereast).
What is the result? Stagnation and building of walls instead of bridges.
Try the Goldilocks method once in a while. You’ll eat and sleep much better.