Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – Feast of St. Casilda
Click here to read today’s readings
Many times in the last few years, my wife and I have been stressed about big questions in our family’s life. We have been anxious about where we will live, when and where we should send our kids to school, where and how much each of us should be working, etc., etc. It has often been the case that this anxiety turns into frustration followed by cycles of second-guessing or some amount of despair. Nonetheless, we have always been pulled out of that pain by moments of grace, ones filled with consoling words from God: Remember last time I took care of you? And the time before that? And the time before that? Remember this for next time! I love you and will always provide for you! Always!
The Hebrews had a similar jarring recognition of God’s power in today’s First Reading from Numbers. After being led out of slavery in Egypt, they meander through the desert to the Promised Land. In this great emptiness, they start to lose faith in their deliverer. Their grumbles and exhaustion are met with first with God’s punishment in the form of snakes that bite them. Yet, God responds by instructing Moses to set up a bronze standard to heal them. He is the one to save them from injury once again. Likewise, in today’s Gospel according John, Jesus highlights the need for the Pharisees and other listeners to know and revere the strength of the Almighty Lord: Jesus says that we should, “always do what is pleasing to [God].” Always.
As we put our trust in the Lord in these final days of Lent, may we all catch ourselves when we slip into negativity or doubt. Continuing on in ways of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we can discern how God wants us to love one another and serve Him. May all our works be directed not towards our own personal, fleeting satisfaction, rather always Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God). Always.
What are the festering complaints of your life? What are the things that you are struggling with at school, at work, at home, or in your friendships? Have you taken them to God? Have you sought God’s grace when lost in the desert of your life? God will always take care of you. Always.
Joseph Sheehan, Theology Teacher