The last line of a Ira Gershwin lyric asks: "Who could ask for anything more?" The song has enumerated all sorts of things that the singer contends that she or he possesses. Personally, I remember the rendition of this classic given by Ethel Merman. "I've got rhythm, I've got music, I've got my man; who could ask for anything more?"
The Second Letter of St. Peter, which we begin reading today at our daily Eucharist, is written in a similar vein: His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. (2 Peter 1:3) With a nod of the head to Mr. Gershwin, I wonder who could ask for anything more.
Most human beings have a long list of "wants." Oftentimes our prayers are directed toward those wants. The important question, however, is that of need. What do we need beyond what we already have? We claim as our own the knowledge of one who has promised us a share in his glory and his power. That knowledge comes to us as a result of our baptism.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus reminds the chief priest, the scribes and the elders of all that God has done for them. The vineyard is God’s, but God has bestowed it upon the children of Israel. Rather than appreciating what God has given them, they concentrate their actions on acquiring more
Much of the trouble that exists in today's world is that we are all too busy pursuing our wants rather than concentrating on our needs. As we continually strive to get a bigger piece of the pie, we violate the very virtues to which our faith calls us. St. Peter tells us that the gifts we have received help us to find fulfillment once we have escaped the corruption of the world and its evil desires. The gifts that we have been given are not ours to possess. Rather they are to be used to build God’s kingdom and extend it to all people.
To paraphrase Ira Gershwin, I've got steadfast faith, unshakeable hope, unconditional love. You could ask for anything more?