It’s 10pm and I just finished watching the pre-game and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, delayed on my DVR. Since I was a little boy, I have loved baseball and this particular game even though it has changed so much. Tonight, it was very special to watch.
Let me first say that our God is a merciful God. Tonight’s Gospel is about repentance. I had a very long lunch conversation today about Pete Rose, who was honored tremendously tonight in his hometown of Cincinnati. I’m one who thinks he should be in the Hall of Fame. With that in mind, we need to forgive, not only Pete Rose, but forgive in general. God tells us in the Our Father prayer that if we want our trespasses forgiven, we have to forgive those who trespass against us. Somehow though, I would hope that anyone who is forgiven or desires to be forgiven, would show some kind of remorse or repentance for the crime or sin they have committed. I am not so sure that this has happened in Pete’s case but that is not for me to judge.
Let’s start with the 4 greatest living legends that walked out on the field prior to the first pitch. There was hammerin’ Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays. Wow, I was lucky enough to see them all play. Sandy Koufax threw out the first pitch to Johnny Bench, a strike no less! Being a Dodger fan and having worked many years in their organization, they announced the 4 greatest Dodgers of all time. They were Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider and Jackie Robinson. As a young 12 year old, I was privileged to attend one of Sandy’s 4 no hitters at Dodger Stadium. That’s pretty awesome! Thank you Lord!
I am blown away by the God-given abilities these great players have been given. They are amazing and they perform “mighty deeds” day in and day out on the baseball field. In a sense, we idolize them. Kids look up to them, even as role models.These great athletes are placed on pedestals in our society and lack nothing of what the world has to offer. Jesus performed mighty deeds wherever He went and people continued to reject Him. He healed, He brought back people from the dead and He taught with great love and mercy. All He wanted was for people to love God and their neighbors. He would be merciful and forgive sins if people would love and repent. But in the Gospel of Matthew 11:20-24, Jesus tells us…
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes.”
And He also continued…
“For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
Everything we possess, our abilities, spiritual wealth and material wealth is a gift from God. They are to be used to glorify Him. Realizing that, I believe that sports now have such a greater meaning to me and I am more able to fully enjoy the great athletes and accomplishments that bring Glory to God!