More Than Just 15 Minutes
Homily for Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Preached on March 18, 2010 at Holy Spirit Parish/The Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY
Readings: Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 106:19-20, 21-22, 23; John 5:31-47
Andy Warhol predicted in 1968 that “in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” We who live in Warhol’s future know that the advances in modern technology are making that forecast into a viable reality. But we also realize that his statement implies a truth about humanity that is as ancient as the Fall: everyone wants to be famous, even if it were only for 15 minutes or less. Just watch the auditions on American Idol and you will see that everyone wants to get noticed, and some will not stop at anything to get the praise and attention they so desire.
But Jesus rejects this craving for fame. He does “not accept human praise,” (Jn. 5:41) for it is short-lived, as fleeting as the passing of 15 minutes. Instead, Jesus points us to seek the praise that comes from the only God (Jn. 5:44) whose favors are everlasting, whose love endures forever (Ps. 106:1). The praise of fickle folk eventually dies down and the dazzle of molten calves ultimately gets dull. Time has shown that they are no match to the unending joys promised by our God.
In the future, would we rather be world famous for 15 minutes, or would we accept God’s invitation to eternal life? When God offers us so much more, I think it would be foolish to settle for anything less.