Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ok, Lord... that's enough, lay off, will ya?

We all probably have said to ourselves at times "Lord, I've got enough on my plate. Can't you lay off the temperature a bit?".  It's like saying we are carrying too heavy of a cross. The simple fact is that no cross is as big as the one Jesus carried.

Lent calls us to the desert, if we truly let the Lord to lead us where he wants us to go. I've been struggling with this a lot lately. In my journey over the past several years, God keeps calling me to a higher level and with each step of this spiritual ladder, life certainly is not easy. I've seemingly found myself waking up to realize how involved I have become in various ministries, events, and catechism classes at our local parish. While I appreciate it, I catch myself complaining about it at the same time.  The catechism students were brutal today, I don't have enough time for me, what good am I doing?, etc... What I do find is that God has a meaning for this and teaches profound lessons that we may not understand at that moment. Sometimes we realize it quickly, other times it takes awhile.

However, as God reveals truth to us, we are called to share that with others. Today's Mass readings for the 4th Sunday of Lent lay out truth with no apology. I found the second reading (Eph 5:8-14) the most powerful. I actually found it affecting me as I read it aloud into the microphone while lectoring today. After Mass, a good friend said I looked a bit "stiff" while reading today. Undoubtedly so.

"Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light."

This reading shows that the Lord will lead us from darkness and awaken ourselves. But, this process is not easy, nor does it happen overnight. We have to always be reminded to live as Christ wills us to.

Tonight, a friend randomly texted me the following, which really struck me. In fact, I needed that message at the exact moment in time. God uses others to deliver messages in many respects. Tonight's was delivered by a simple buzz from my phone. 

"we are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed;" 1 Cor 4:8-9

So, Instead of finding myself complaining about troubles in life, I find that I need to turn it to thanks; Yes, thanks to the Lord for all that he has given me, and in his infinite wisdom he knows why we need to undergo trials and suffering to reveal his message.

Deo Gratias!