Have you noticed how everyone these days is a big deal?
So many millions are “legends”!
Everyone is transfixed on his or her image in the waters of Narcissus.
Everybody is “famous.”
When one looks at it from that perspective, it can be seen that even if one is considering just worldly standards, when there are so many big shots, few people are really such.
Never mind by the standards of Heaven.
The rare person is the unworldly one who sees through the clarity of humility, who sees through from the perspective of… a hidden manger.
Years back, in Omaha, we met a retired police officer who’d experienced a near-death “journey” during a heart attack. When asked what he took from that experience, he simply said, “There are no big deals there.”
By that he meant that the standing of people and things we think are of such consequence here on earth, on the platforms of worldliness, up there on TV, “celebrities,” evaporate in the real “up there” (or perhaps in some cases “out there” — for there is also the gnashing of teeth).
No longer, in eternity, is anyone a big deal — not kings, not premiers, not presidents, not bishops, not queens — and not billionaires, who have much baggage to squeeze through a narrow entrance.
Spiritually, the celebrity culture is, at best, child’s play; at worst it is idolatry.
When we die, we will see that Elvis, Lennon, Lincoln, Churchill, the Rockefellers, Washington, Kennedy, that Gates, Bezos, are like the rest of us pedestrians.
The little old lady saying a Rosary in the back pew will be the “big deal.”
Let’s look at Scripture. As pointed out three Sundays ago, there is Psalms 62: “”Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; they are together lighter than breath.”
“Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for His mercy endures forever.
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (responsorial psalm, December 6). “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).
“Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion” (Proverbs 30:8). “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you”(James 5:1-6).
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31). “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews, 13:5). “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
Too many good Catholics, devout Catholics, loving Catholics, have been swept into various torrents from which they should withdraw themselves. This Advent, pray to reveal in what ways you are worldly. While on earth, we do respect authority — governmental as well as ecclesiastic. But always must we keep in mind that in the end, in Heaven, and forever, Christ is the only King.