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Friday, July 27, 2012

God's Will - God's Way

Every time that we pray the Our Father, we pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Yet the Bible teaches us that God does things in a certain way and that His hand will not be forced.
The Bible tells us this about God;

Psalm 86:15 But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, most loving and true.

We also have the warning of St. James

James 1:19 Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of a man does not accomplish the righteousness of God.

We see that the Bible tells us that God is slow to anger and that when are wrathful we are not working God’s justice on someone. Obviously you can defend yourself, but we have all felt immediately overly angry about something and sometimes we burst. This is not God working his justice through you.

Sometimes, like these days ahead of us, we feel like God isn’t doing enough in our lives or in the life of our country and we get angry and yell at heaven or worse we decide to take matters into our own hands. This would be the worst thing you could do.

Let’s take for example Abraham. God appears to him and says Abraham I am going to give you a son. Abraham thinks that God doesn’t realize how old he and Sarah are and certainly they wouldn’t be able to have a child. So they take matters into their own hands. Abraham marries Hagar, his servant girl as a wife and she bears him a son Ishmael. Later on God again appears to Abraham and says ok, Abraham I am ready to fulfill my vow of giving you a child. You can imagine that Abraham is in his tent praying and little Ishmael is running around outside. Abraham thought that by taking a second wife, he was fulfilling God’s will; yet he wasn’t.

What Abraham should have done is be faithful and patient. That is our lesson for today. Yes get involved with church events, yes get involved with politics, but it is all for nothing if you are not faithful to your prayers and that face-time with God.

If we attempt to do things without God, they are futile.

The Bible says:

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

We as humans are designed to have an intimate perpetual conversation with God. That little voice in your head, that conversation that you are having with yourself when all the noise stops; that interior monologue that turns on when you turn the TV off; is not supposed to be a monologue but a dialogue with the most Holy Trinity.

Listen, I am just a regular guy, let me tell you, when the TV turns off another turns on in my head and I am working on silencing this clutter. I am convinced from my study of Scripture and the Saints that the salvation of our own selves and our country is located in this dialogue which is strengthened by the reception of the sacraments and in prayer.

I have not forgotten our topic of not forcing our will on people saying that it is God’s will as I say this next bit.

Superheroes recently have caught our countries attention with some pretty amazing films. I enjoy watching them myself but I recently noticed something about them. They defeat the bad guys by their own power. Now this isn’t such a big revelation until you compare it with the gospel. In the gospel it is weakness, love, and the will of God the Father that defeats evil. In the superhero movies it is science, human ingenuity, and good aliens that defeat the bad guys.

Just think who the heros of the church are: Noah, because he was obedient; Abraham, for his faith; Joseph; because he didn’t lose heart; David, for his love; the apostles because they told people about Jesus and died for it; cloistered nuns and monks; and archbishops with a television show on catechesis.   

At Mass we do more for the world than world than can be possibly imagined.

I am not saying super heros are bad, there is something in us that cheers them on. It is that desire to be super ourselves. That desire comes from God to each one of us, it is in our nature. But how do we apply it? Pray that a radioactive meteorite hits us to gives us the power to fly?

Ironically God gives us that power through the sacraments and we exercise its power in the beatitudes, when we have a spirit of poverty, when we mourn, and are meek; when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, are merciful and pure of heart; when we are peacemakers and are persecuted. This is true power, because it comes from the cross of Christ.

Listen to St. Paul:

RSV 1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

So if your desire is for the greater good of our country and yourselves, let us spend our days and nights before that box in church – the tabernacle, and not before the box at home – the TV and THIS will affect the election box.