I’m of the millennial generation, a generation whose impending doom is frequently announced in the opinion sections of newspapers. The American dream was a promise of endless expansion without contraction. But it was also a vision predicated on denying the dream to others—native tribes and enslaved laborers. As a dream built on sand, it was destined to crumble. Although the myth of endless wealth for all has proved fraudulent, millennials and many of our fellow Americans work harder and save more, clinging to the hope that this dream can still work for me.
As we struggle to “earn” personhood in a society that values the dollar above all else, too many of us have forfeited our personal lives—our relationships, ourselves, our joy—as we march the uphill slog for economic security. Yet what will it profit a man to gain the whole world, or even homeownership, if he forfeits his life?
We live in a time of despair, of global destruction: wildfire season expanding, polar ice caps melting, coral reefs bleaching in acidifying oceans. In the world around us—and in our own hearts—we see life sacrificed in the name of profit. God sets before the Israelites life and death, blessing and curse. How can we choose life when the world seems so overrun by death?
Today, let us choose the prosperity of God. We do not need to earn a nest egg to enter the love of God poured out for us in the Eucharist. Let us embrace the life of God’s love for us and the blessing of being his love to others.