Monday, March 24, 2014

Finding My God

From the Hermitage

Monday, Third Week of Lent

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - If we want to be saved, we must choose "the path of humility" of "self-marginalization" because God "cannot find us at the center of our securities, no, no. The Lord does not go there. He will find us on the margins, in our sins, our mistakes, our need to be spiritually healed, to be saved, there the Lord finds us". This is the "message" of the third week of Lent, according to Pope Francis.  He was commenting on the Gospel passage where Jesus says: "No prophet is accepted in his own native place".    ASIA NEWS

How important is it in one's life to recognize the usual or unusual ways God seeks to reveal Himself to those who seek to find his face?  David, God's chosen one, the King, the renowned public sinner, the humbled leader, the poet who could produce a book of prayer reflections, included the following words in Psalm 42: 3:
Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold that face of God?

How often do we recognize the need for God in our lives but because of human weaknesses we seem to feel that God is not a genuine component or presence in our lives.  Don't the often used or heard sentences "God only knows when ...! and "It's up to Him ....!" reveal a more hardened heart?  Don't these two very simple and short sentences speak many words about how close or distant we are from a sincere relationship with God?

The scripture readings today use two biblical moments to lead us to consider when and how God can be found in one's life.  At root in the hearts of Naaman and the congregation ired by Jesus' "message" is a very simple reality:  humility!  How often do we want instant answers ... even centuries ago ... responses to our cries for help or healing?  But then how many times do we look backwards and see where God had been trying to open our hearts to his answers for our well being?

It is rare that God comes to us in the spectacular ... which is what Naaman expected.  More frequently God comes to us in the simple, the behind the scenes moments.  It is something inside us that prevents our hearts from knowing, our ears from hearing and our eyes from seeing.  All of this happens because we are like what we see in nature.  Again, listen to King David:  "As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God" (Psalm 42:2).

David writes further in the psalm, "Send forth your light ..."  which will bring us "to your dwelling place."  During Lent we should daily be thanking God for the light He sends us and praying for the graces and strength to look in the most unusual places and in the faces of so many around us who God has chosen to speak out on His behalf.

Thoughts from a young man I do not know

My life does not turn out the way I planned, 
but sometimes that happens 
because what I planned 
was not supposed to be my life.
[and I have added]
I failed to see, to hear, to know 
what God wanted for and from me!
But I know He walks with me 
and will guide me.

It is our task to pray for the graces to open our hearts, to open our eyes and to allow your ears to hear!

Fr. Milt