FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE
Thursday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
Our first reading emphasizes the necessity of faith; the second reading the necessity of perseverance. We are to persevere in our faith in Christ in both good times and bad. We are never to let ourselves believe that God has abandoned us, that he does not care for us, that he is blind to our situations, deaf to our prayers, uncaring about our lives. For nothing is farther from the truth.
Jesus points out that God is not only a Father, he is a perfect Father, he is our Father who has no other interests than to see that we get what is best for us. And he strongly hints that what is best for us is the Holy Spirit. For those who have the Holy Spirit have the solution to all their problems and the answer to all their prayers. But how much do any of us believe that?
We tend more towards thinking it is money that is more important, it is health, it is a loving home and friends all around us, that it is a government truly concerned about our medical insurance, our taxes, and our social security that can solve all our problems.
But it isn’t. It is the Holy Spirit, God himself, who dwells within us and is involved with us in all that we think and do, who faces with us all that the world throws our way. “Everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks, finds; to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” declares Jesus. “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
God offers us the best but we try to settle for much less. Why do we do that?
As we focus upon the Gospel, we need to remember that despite our slips, stumbles or falls, we need to “persist” in practicing our faith and living it in our thoughts, words and deeds. Let’s pause and reflect upon how we interact with others, be it family, co-workers, neighbors or complete strangers, and think about the love we show them. Is it Christ like, full of compassion, understanding and a willingness to help? This may be the best indicator of just how deeply Christ is part of our lives and how “persistent” we are.
Hopefully, when living our faith, we are “relentless” and have “dogged determination” to be true to our faith. For in today’s world, that might be as hard as finding a loaf of bread at midnight in Jesus’ world.