Daily Reflection
March 28th, 2001
Joan Lanahan
Nursing School Chaplain
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Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalms 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
John 5:17-30


People say, "God doesn't answer my prayers."  Have you ever said that yourself?  I have.  It takes experience to recognize HOW God is answering our prayers.

Don't you know someone who has been job hunting and thinks they've found the perfect job?  Then they don't get it.  Eventually they find one that is even a better fit for their time and talents.  Think about someone who is trying to sell their house.  It's been weeks and no one comes to look at it, even after they have buried St. Joseph's statue in their yard!  Then, all of a sudden the house is sold and they have found a really great new home for their family.

These and other experiences I am sure you have had, or others have, show us two God realities:  sometimes we hear a "no" or a "not yet" to our prayers, and good things happen for us in GOD'S TIME, not always our time or what we want!

In John's gospel Jesus says, "My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."  In Isaiah the prophet speaks of God's work as "comfort people, show mercy to the afflicted."  We are reminded of a mother's love for her infant child and God tells us, "I will never forget you."  "The Lord is good to all and compassionate to every creature," says the Psalmist.

Our childlike faith tells us God loves us passionately, comforting and guiding us.  Our mature adult faith impels us to look for God at work in our lives.  It's the time to reflect on our lives, and to see God at work, that is such a challenge for us.

How does God or Jesus work with us?  It can be in tiny ways:  a friend who hooked up speakers and got my computer to play music...in snowy and icy weather when someone offers to give us a ride...when we suddenly realize an answer to a problem we have been working on......or big ways:   when a baby is born healthy...when an elderly parent is getting good care in a nursing home...when we are able to forgive someone we have hurt.

This is Lent, a time of sacrifice and asking for God's forgiving love.  Many of us "give things up," a real discipline.  Why not add something?  Take 5 minutes at the end of your day and reflect on "what gifts, great and small, did God give me today?"...and thank God for comfort and mercy, for GOD'S WORK.

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