|Your people awaited the salvation of the just. Wisdom 18
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
On my retreat this summer, I found that my prayer – relationship with Jesus – came to a simple and fairly “new” place. I just had read a piece which asked – asked me personally – “To whom do you belong?” and “Do I believe what I say I believe?” I found myself chewing these questions and returning to the simple – graced – realization that, if I really belong to the Lord (in whom I am baptized and whose servant I desire to be) and if I really believe what I say I believe (that I have nothing to fear because Jesus has overcome the power of sin and death) then I should be a much more joyful, trusting and courageous person.
Jesus is laying it out for us today. We really have nothing to fear. Of course, that confronts the fact that we live with a lot of fears. We live, too often, in a self-protective mode, as though we can “control” how safe and secure we are. Jesus is inviting us to live more freely because our life is in his hands and because we are going to enjoy eternal life in his kingdom forever and ever.
I’ve found myself, since that retreat, asking for the grace to live with daily trust, to walk with deeply joy in my heart – even in the midst of challenging things – and to ask myself more often if I’m being courageous enough in taking risks to love more completely, to witness my faith by the ways I am self-sacrificing in my care, and to open my heart to better hear the cry of the poor, so I might be a better advocate for those without a voice. Asking for the grace alone give me more courage to find steps in these directions in the here and now of each day.
I’m not always successful, and I am by no means a model of a person in solidarity with the poor. But, desiring makes a difference. I believe it is also a step in the direction of “being ready,” as Jesus describes it. Not out of fear. Not with anxiety. Being in better communion with Jesus each day, remembering that I belong to him, and to him alone, frees me from all the messages of the culture around me. It frees me from so desperately trying to live in both worlds, to give myself to companionship with the Lord, in half measures. And, most of all, the anticipation Jesus talks about tastes more like longing – a desire to be with the one who loves me so unconditionally and completely.
May you find me eager for your coming, Lord, fully engaged in being one with you, here and now, where your people most need this simple disciple to be.