God Has Shown Us, but do we see?
Devotional?Discussion Thought of the Day:
6 What shall I bring to the LORD, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? 7 Will the LORD be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? 8 No, the LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. Micah 6:6-8 (TEV)
259 Prayer is the humility of the man who acknowledges his profound wretchedness and the greatness of God. He addresses and adores God as one who expects everything from Him and nothing from himself. Faith is the humility of the mind which renounces its own judgement and surrenders to the verdict and authority of the Church. Obedience is the humility of the will which subjects itself to the will of another, for God’s sake. (1)
Between trying to adapt to new meds which dropped a bomb on me physically, a number of my parishioners in the hospital, two classes, on I teach and the sheriff’s academy, I come to my office this morning, more than a bit exhausted. I suppose part of it is that I am just tired, but sometimes, in this situation, you see things clearly.
I see people bashing our president, and our former president, then bashing each other for bashing.
I see people bashing their ex’s, or maybe their about to be ex’s, not aware that what they are really doing is drowning themselves in bitterness.
I dared tp read the news at breakfast, and see the wards going on in the world.
I look at FB and see that people are still fighting the same worship wars, bashing each other for perceptions that aren’t accurate.
I see constantly within and without the church, people struggling, and I am tempted to bash back, or quit,
I see friends chastising those who want traditional relationships, and others condemning (rather that working with in love) those who live, struggling with sin.
I see a lot of sin… enough to overwhelm the world, never mind a simple middle-aged pastor.
In my devotions this morning, I came across the quote above by St. Josemaria Escriva. I like his works because they don’t sugarcoat life, but even as they acknowledge the struggle, the acknowledge something bigger. It made me think of the Micah passage, and the simplicity of life to which it calls us.
Can we expect everything from God, knowing that our (individual and corporate) ability is no match to this world? Can we humble our minds and consider that those before us aren’t passed the expiration date, or that those younger than us might have a insights far beyond us? Can we subject ourselves, not just to each other, but to each other for God’s sake? (maybe we should read Eph 5:21 again?)
Can we live this humbly? Can we love this purely and constantly? Some would say no, it is impossible for sinners to do so.
As pastors, priests, deacons, and all the other ministers of God, can we encourage people to do this, while struggling to do it ourselves? Do we just turn our backs and find some nice monastery to hide in, and let the world go to hell?
We have to try to help, it is our calling, our mission, our apostolate. It is a burden to bear and a cross to carry. And yes, it means there will be days where we are dejected, tired, broken, ready to give up on the world.
The key is the very last line of the prophet’s words, “to live in humble fellowship with our God.” The key is also seen in the opening words of a catholic priest who knew war, famine, poverty, and yet still knew the presence of God, “ Prayer is the humility of the man who acknowledges his profound wretchedness and the greatness of God. He addresses and adores God as one who expects everything from Him and nothing from himself.” Humility is simply remember He is God, we aren’t, and what that means each and everyday we are alive…..
He is here, we walk with Him, He has promised to be our Master, the Lord who provides all we need, the Lord who doesn’t abandon His people but works in them. It is He who is our hope, the mountains we look to for escape, and to hide offer nothing…. for He has given us everything. He has given us Himself. It is in Him we have hope, even while in the mud and muck of this world. Even while we minister in brokenness, with those who are broken.
May we know this as we cry out, Lord Have Mercy!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1262-1267). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.