Wednesday, April 2, 2014

“Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”

“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All things pass; God never changes. Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Nun, Mystic, Writer

Scripture Text: (IS 49:8-15)
Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

It’s funny what makes people mad. Scripture tells us God will never forget us. That God is slow to anger and merciful. Jesus tells us that he came to earth so that we could have eternal life. And we get mad. I often get frustrated with myself in that, here I have Jesus as my model, we’re in the middle of Lent, where I’m supposed to be working on my relationship with Christ, and I get mad at people.

I was at the grocery store the other day waiting to check out. I had the checkout lady who it must have been her first day on the job (of course). She was struggling and obviously nervous and I’m sure she was aware of my impatience. Then the person behind me bumped me with their cart. It may have been an accident, but, being the cool, calm, collected, mature adult Catholic male that I am, I turned and told them they had better move back. Of course I was shouting at some poor, little, old lady. The checkout lady, immediately blurted out how sorry she was and how this was all her fault. Good grief. I, the supposed ambassador for Christ, had just wrecked the day for two of God’s children. I apologized and told both of them I was sorry and left the store wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Even in Lent we are sometimes overwhelmed by the push and hurry of the world around us. Being a disciple of Christ was not easy 2000 years ago and it is not easy today. It’s easy to think following Christ is impossible and we can lose hope.

Everyone is probably familiar with “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, in the Sistine Chapel. It is a very beautiful painting. The next time you see it look closely at the relationship between God and Adam, particularly look at both of their hands. Adam does not look very hopeful. He’s looking at God, but his effort to reach God looks pretty weak. God, on the other hand, is straining forward to reach Adam. God’s desire for Adam is evident. What a wonderful image.

We may feel unworthy or like a failure, yet God’s desire for us is unwavering.

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