Follow the Bubbles
Greetings on this the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: AM 8:4-7; PS 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8; 1 TM 2:1-8; LK 16:1-13
When I was a young man as a part of the SCUBA training process they would teach this very simple lesson.
Follow the Bubbles
Unless you live in one of the Gulf Coast States you will usually be SCUBA diving in turbid waters where even sunlight doesn’t penetrate. Initially when you enter the water your orientation is no problem. As you explore and spend time twisting and turning, rising and falling, moving forward and backward, under and over you begin to get disoriented. Sometimes this causes anxiety and even panic. Where am I in relation to the surface? How do I know for sure the way back?
The Instructor would go on to say if you rely upon your instincts alone or even your intellect to reason out where you are, you will likely be in grave danger of loss of your life! Instead, as a part of your analysis, release some air! Release air and watch the direction in which it goes. Where the bubbles go, so should you. Follow the bubbles.
As any kid that drinks with a straw knows if you blow air into a straw immersed in chocolate milk you get … chocolate bubbles on the top!
(If you plan to attend the 9:00 AM Mass at Sacred Heart, Lake Worth Beach, FL you will get demonstrations of this SCUBA principle using chocolate milk. Since literally nobody reads this I am safe in this advanced notice).
Truth Bubbles Up
In our first reading today the Prophet Amos warns use that the Lord sees all of these actions we want to bury and hide like bubbles under water:
- trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land;
- diminish the ephah, add to the shekel;
- fix our scales for cheating;
- buy the lowly for silver (slavery);
- buy the poor for the cost of a pair of sandals (abject slavery); and
- even sell the useless bi-product of the wheat as wheat.
The truth of these activities bubbles up to the Lord.
Universality of the Warning
Second reading: In the letter to Timothy the writer makes clear although the actions noted by the Prophet Amos are truthful realities there is yet another buried truth. We fail to pray for those who are the perpetrators of these offenses. The bubble up is that we sharing in the responsibility of those who fail in these ways. We own them our prayers for them because:
This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.
It is a mistake to mock the bubbles of another while we offer no help in finding another way. Pray for President Trump and his troupe even if you hate him. Pray for the resistance even if you disagree with them and their sometimes quite objectionable ways.
Gospel Bubble Story
A rich man comes to understand a steward of his is stealing from him. He demands an accounting and informs of the stewards dismissal.
The steward attempts to bury more dishonest acts by making more deals:
- Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty; and
- Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.
He desperately wants to bury more things because he is not strong enough to dig and he is ashamed to beg.
But the truth bubbles up and it gets even more interesting here.
The master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
Imagine that will you? Why did he say this and what does this bubble reveal?
The Master (rich man) is revealing HIS OWN METHODS and BURIED TRUTH of how he amassed his own fortune.
Even this Master has the bubble effect of truth. The Master and the Steward are of the same thinking mode.
The Master only objects to stealing from him not from stealing from others.
Honesty in Profane Things – Worthy of Profound Things
Jesus goes on to explain that our honesty in small things is a pathway forward in the profound things. Dishonesty is disastrous.
He goes on to say the possession of your future in this life and for eternal life does not even belong to you if you trade it for ill-gotten gain and dishonest.
Literally he is saying you risk the mastery of your own life path following the logic of the Master and Steward.
It is the Choice
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.
You are best served by following the bubble logic. Follow the bubble of truth and find the liberation of God’s love!