Today’s Gospel reading from Luke is one of those unusual head scratchers. “What is the message here?” we ask.
I like to think that Jesus, in reciting what must have been an idiom to the Jews of the time, was telling us that we must take the chance and go for both the heights and the depths of life. I think he is telling us that we cannot play it safe, that we cannot be just spectators listening to the song or the flute without deeply responding.
The first reading today is from the well-known passage in 1st Corinthians where Paul extols the virtue of love. He tells us that without love – which impels us into the depths of human experience – we will be empty and hollow even if we have faith. He calls love the “more excellent way.”
Just as Paul beckons us to the way of excellence, Jesus in a more cryptic way call us to go the distance, to move beyond our hesitations, to respond deeply to the promptings of God in our lives.
God will provide the song and the instruments; we must dance and weep; we must rejoice heartily in the Lord and weep with those who are lost.
Mediocrity is not an option that leads us to excellence. It is an unwise choice.