Thursday of Lent 3, March 28, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
Today, we move to the next phrase in the Litany which continues our exploration of our relationships with material goods and comforts:
Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
We confess to you, Lord.
The Litany of Penitence calls us to examine how we use and how we respond to the things of this world. We are not expected to remove ourselves from the goods and comforts of the world, but to maintain control over ourselves. The focus on Monday was on examining where our lack of self-control or temperance results in the exploitation of our neighbors.Today, the focus is on how our intemperance for things results in our love being misplaced from the right love of ourselves and enjoying the world around us to inordinate love of material things.
Advertisements seem to be tempt us with vacations, luxury items, new technology to make life easier, and delicacies that are not necessary for our health and well-being. While the advertisements want us to think that we deserve or need these things, the goal seems to be to get us attached to the thing or comfort. Ethically produced and sourced comfort foods and items, vacations, luxury items, new technology, etc., are probably not bad in themselves unless they tempt us to love them more than we love ourselves and our neighbors. When these things become the goal in life rather than loving God by living into our baptismal covenant, then we have fallen into the trap of intemperate love of things that won’t bring us the peace that we desire.
What luxuries or comforts do you desire?
When are you tempted to splurge on worldly goods and comforts in ways that are not healthy for you?
What luxuries and comforts do you, as a worshiping community, desire and how might these desires prevent you from living into your baptism?
Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(38. For the Right Use of God’s Gifts, BCP 827)