There is no doubt about it…it is VERY cold outside in Chicago. The temperatures are frigid and the wind pierces to the bone. The temperature people seem to love can best be described as “lukewarm,” neither hot nor cold. It is more comfortable when the temperature is not challenging to our sensibilities, one way or another. But one thing is certainly clear: God despises people whose characters can best be described as “lukewarm,” in that they stand for nothing that might cause controversy or division. Play it safe; don’t rock the boat; don’t cause any trouble.
The reading from the Book of Revelation in today’s Liturgy has God condemning in no uncertain words those who are lukewarm saying, “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” This is quite a blunt statement , coming from God through St. John. The reading goes on to say that those who are rich think they are comfortable and need no help. They are self-sufficient. When we lose sight of the fact that we are ALWAYS dependent on God and are NEVER self-sufficient, we risk becoming lukewarm and apathetic.
The end of the church year is challenging us OUT of the complacency of living in the comfort zone and INTO the risky business of living in the gospel zone. Gospel living is taking a stand on what matters and what is right; it means re-shaping one’s life along the contours of selfless love; and it demands an ongoing life of daily prayer that deepens the conversion of the heart.
There is nothing lukewarm about this way of living. It might be more comfortable living in a climate that is mild and dull but it is more interesting and challenging to live in a climate like Chicago’s: unpredictable and variable…much like life. Gospel living can never be lukewarm.
Buen camino. Padre