We’ve all heard the adage “what goes around comes around.” Everything is going around around and coming around — EVERYTHING. From the macrocosm to the microcosm. Do you realize that at this very moment we are traveling at one million four hundred thousand miles per hour? Think about it, everything is turning — flowing continuously. Our planet, spinning, the moon and all the other planets — spinning, our galaxy and all galaxies — spinning, EVERYTHING spinning. The blood rushing through our veins, times and seasons constantly changing — atoms and all subatomic particles all spinning around each other; it is the DNA of everything.
The God we put our faith, hope and trust in is also spinning; Father, Son and Holy Spirit in a constant dance of pure relationship. It is God’s DNA, and so all that God creates, all the Son does, all that the Holy Spirit does is one huge cosmic dance of pure loving relationship. Are you on board, or not?
When we are not on board a great and terrible chasm opens up in the very middle of our lives. That great chasm is a prominent feature in today’s gospel. Remember back to your first grade school or high school dances. Everyone lined up on all four wall of the auditorium — no one making a move, no one wanting to go first — the great empty, lonely space in the middle. Nothing happened until someone finally took the first tentative step toward the middle.
What happens when no one steps up? Have you ever been in NYC during a garbage strike? I have — it isn’t pretty! Ever have your garbage disposal break down during a large dinner party? Seem to happen every time my mom and dad invited a lot of people over. When you don’t step up, life backs up.
What is your image of the rich man in today’s Gospel? I came to think of him as a sort of Jaba the Hut in Star Wars; huge, fat, sloppy totally self-absorbed. Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe he looks a lot more like me. The rich man, in today’s Gospel, isn’t bad or evil because he is rich but because he didn’t care, didn’t want to dance. He probably never even noticed the poor man outside his door. Unless we are dancing we don’t notice other people. When we stop dancing life itself stop and a great chasm opens up in our life. Last Sunday after masses I took a long walk down to Fishermans Wharf and along the waterfront. Tons of tourists, obviously - it was a beautiful day. All kinds of folks looking, gawking at Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate bridge, eating and laughing as ought to be done. But in the nooks and crannies there were homeless, sleeping or passed out and for the most part no one noticed. For some reason they stopped dancing, and we stopped dancing and there is a great chasm between us. Probably none of us here has the answer be we at the very least need to notice.
The same thing can happen to our relationship with God. God, for many today is simply irrelevant; or we are stuck in some grade school notion of God that just doesn’t work anymore. We memorized all the questions and answers, we can recite the creed and receive communion; now what? We thought we did it all correctly, now what? For many a great empty chasm as developed. God and faith became objects, like all other objects and gradually we cease to notice them, like so many items on a fireplace mantel. We were never taught that we are to live and dance with God all the days of our lives. We were taught to know about God, but certainly can transform our lives and more importantly it can transform other people’s lives as well. Happiness is an inside job - nothing “out there” can make us happy or unhappy; it is how we dance with what’s before us that creates the divine dance of pure love.