So, today's gospel was the one about the man who hired the guys standing around in the market place all at different times of the day, but paid each one the "regular daily wage." And the homily was basically: God is generous, and we don't get judged on a bell curve.
The second point was what really struck me as I listened to the gospel, but like always, what I drew from it was almost the opposite from what was preached. It was "You aren't John Paul II, and you aren't Mother Theresa. They had their lives and their circumstances, and you have yours. We aren't expected to be them. Just be the best you you can be."
And that's right and good. Just too conciliatory for my need today.
But what I really needed to hear was "You see Joe Schmoe over there, or Jane Schmane. Who cares about what they are doing. You might compare yourself to them and say 'Heck, I'm doing as well as they are. Everything's fine. We're all happy and comfy together, and after all, we're not perfect.' But no. God has given you gifts, and you are the only you He has made. You have an obligation to fulfill what God has given you to do, and you are never going to realize what that is by looking around at everyone else. Don't give one thought to how you compare to others, or get comfy because you feel like you fit and look like those around you. Maybe I want you to be the only orange crayon in your bin. You'll never understand how to be a perfect orange if all you look at is yellow and green."
Come to think of it, I've written a bunch of songs with this exact theme.
For some reason I crave hearing an exhortation to courage. Perhaps I want preachers to realize how much this moment in human history calls for it. Or, as St. Teresa of Avila says, how much courage it takes to pursue holiness, at any point in history.