Isaiah 49: 3, 5-6
First Corinthians 1: 1-3
John 1: 29-34
In the 1990’s, Tom Cruise starred in a film, entitled “Jerry Maguire,” in it he played a sports agent, who leaves a super sports management agency, because he feels he can do better on his own. He is trying to retain his clientele, especially this promising football player, portrayed by the actor Cuba Gooding Jr. Jerry Maguire is trying desperately to convince the football player to stay with him, the player remains unconvinced. Finally, he tells Maguire, “Show me the money!” which becomes a catch phrase for the ‘90’s. “Show me the money,” in other words, “Show me that you are the real deal, that you can deliver on your promises.” Now, imagine if you are Jewish person during the time of Isaiah, and you just heard the words that are in the first reading. Actually, these are the Lord’s words that Isaiah is repeating. Keep in mind that this reading takes place during a time of trial for the people of Israel, the kingdom is being shattered, the people dragged into exile. And God is saying that Israel will become a light to the nations! Some of the people will take these words to heart and have hope! Others, I am sure will say, “Show me the money!” “Show that this promise will ever be fulfilled.”
Fast forward to the time of John the Baptist. He is going up and down the Jordan River, proclaiming that the Messiah is coming! He calls people to get ready, repent from your sins, be baptized and cleansed from your sins. And he drawing great crowds, but there are those who listen to him, especially the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem; who come up to him and say “Show me the money!” Show us this Messiah! John points to Jesus and declares “Behold the Lamb of God!” and he gives testimony of his own experience, of seeing the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus, and knowing in his heart of hearts that Jesus is the Son of God.
Fast forward again to our present times, we see in this country the Christian community in decline; people no longer willing to make a commitment to the Church, no longer willing to believe. We cry out to them, “Behold, Jesus Christ! The Way, The Truth, and The Life!” do people respond to us by saying: “Show us the money!” Show us, testify to us, by your words and deeds that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God! How do we respond? Do we insulate ourselves here in this Church? Become a faithful remnant? I would say no! From the moment we were baptized and confirmed, we received a precious treasure, a treasure that is renewed and increased each time we receive the Body and Blood of our Lord! But it is not a treasure to be hoarded, we are to go forth into our homes, our offices and workshops; the marketplaces and street corners; and share that treasure with everyone we come in contact with. We are called to give ourselves in service to others, that they may know God’s love, to be a voice for the poor and oppressed. That each person we greet, will experience the peace and love of Christ. Let us “show the money,” let us show them the power, the reality of that the love that can only come through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.