THE RISK OF GETTING SETTLED
Sooner or later we all run the risk of getting settled in life, seeking a comfortable refuge that lets us live calmly, without upsets or excessive worries, letting go of whatever other aspiration.
Having reached a certain professional success, with the family raised, and the future more or less secure, it’s easy to let oneself get trapped by a comfortable conformity that lets us keep walking through life in the most comfortable way.
It’s the time to seek an agreeable and welcoming atmosphere. Live relaxed in a happy environment. Make of the home a caring refuge, a corner to read and listen to good music. Enjoy some nice vacations. Plan some pleasant weekends.
But all too often this is when the person discovers more clearly that happiness never coincides with well-being. There’s lacking in that life something that leaves us empty and unsatisfied. Something that can’t be bought with money or guaranteed by a comfortable life. Simply put, one lacks the joy that is proper to one who knows how to roll with the problems and needs of others, feel in solidarity with those in need and live somehow more closely to those abused by society.
But there’s also a way of getting «settled» that can be falsely reinforced by «Christian notes». It’s Peter’s eternal temptation that always stalks us believers: «make shelters here on the mountain top». That is to say, seek our inner well-being in religion, avoiding our individual and collective responsibility for reaching a more human living together.
And yet, Jesus’ message is clear. A religious experience isn’t truly Christian if it isolates us from our brothers and sister, settles us comfortably in life and distances us from the service of those most in need.
If we listen to Jesus, we will feel ourselves invited to leave our conformity, break with a style of selfish life in which we are perhaps comfortably settled and start to live more attentive to the challenges that reach us from those who are most destitute in our society.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf