for Sunday, August 8, 2010
Today we learn a lot of lessons about trusting in the Lord and doing His
will. The first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, is about trusting that
the Lord will always watch over us. It is much more about this than it is
about punishing our enemies, although for sure the Old Testament does not
always make such a distinction. If you kill my enemies, you help me.
Today we think in other ways about how God is on our side. At some levels,
however, we still tend to be aware of those enemies that foul up our
lives - and we want to be free of them, even if we may not to kill them.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews, is a wonderful
discourse about Abraham, our father in faith. Abraham seems to have an
incredible gift of faith. He could believe in God even when God seemed not
to be fulfilling His promises. Generally we are less enthusiastic about
our faith if we don't see any result in it for us. Our ancestors in the
faith are always patient with us, explaining that if we can already see and
understand everything, then our faith is probably empty. For sure if God
had promised to me that I would have descendants and I were already ninety
years old, I would begin to have some doubts. If I wre married and my wife
were sterile, I would have some doubts. Abraham, however, shows us how to
believe. If God has said that He will do something, God will do it.
Although we may find this difficult, in the end it is the only way to
believe. What has God promised to us? Not children, not lands, not
power - but to be friends of God and children of the Father. Jesus has
promised us His salvation if we believe in Him. Note clearly that Jesus is
not promising salvation to us if we are good. That is impossible in so
many ways. Instead, we are promised salvation if we believe in Him.
The Gospel picks up the theme of being responsible. If we believe that
God always watches over us and if we believe that God is our friend, then
we have to be waiting for God to come again. Put my faith in the Lord,
then I must be ready for His coming, no matter when that will be. I may
well be like the servant who really did not understand much, and I may
deserve a less heavy beating! I would like to be a servant who is always
waiting and trusting, but I know that I am not. Some people are and I give
thanks for them.
Let us wait, then, and seek to serve the Lord as good servants. When we
fail, we should still believe and trust in the Lord. May the Lord Himself
become the whole meaning of our life.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: