Psalms 7:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
“I knew their plot because the Lord informed me.”
“Lord, my God, I take shelter in You.”
“Some of the crowd who heard the words of Jesus began to say,…’He is the Messiah.’ But an objection was raised: ‘Surely the Messiah is not to come from Galilee?’”
Do we doubt what we hear from God?
Do we really believe He is our shield?
Do we really trust in His love, protection, and forgiveness?
What expectations and preconceived notions do we hold onto that prevent us from drawing closer to Him and, in turn, to our neighbors?
The prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah have spoken to us this week of their trust in God’s love and protection and forgiveness. We began the week on Sunday with the story of the Prodigal Son and we will hear tomorrow the story of the Adulterous Woman. We all know these stories so well; maybe we do not really hear them anymore. They speak of God’s fatherly love, His concern and protection, and His unconditional forgiveness.
Why can’t we believe what we hear?
Why can’t we accept that God has this deep undying love and forgiveness for each of us?
Why do we put our own human frailties on Him? (He cannot possibly know or care or have time or love me enough to be bothered about my troubles or me!)
Just because we cannot love and/or forgive ourselves, does not mean God cannot! With God all things are possible. This week we also celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation. (Another story we may not ‘hear’ any more.) Mary says, “I am the handmaid of the Lord may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
What humility! What acceptance! What trust! Mary put herself in God’s service, as His handmaiden, one who is always ‘on hand.’ She did not know she was immaculately conceived, she thought of herself as like everyone else. She did not think about the social consequences of what she was being asked to do. Or, if she did she trusted that the Lord, her Lord, would take care of her, and He did.
Mary heard what God was asking of her and she knew His love, protection and forgiveness would always be with her. (Why would Mary need to be forgiven? She was human.) Just like us, she did not always understand. She pondered the stories of the shepherds and the kings and the prophecy of Simeon. Just like us, she was afraid and worried. She and Joseph could not find Jesus for three days. She was worried about Jesus and wanted to reach Him, and speak to Him when He started teaching. She suffered with Him through His death. We do not know all the specifics of her worries, doubts and anxieties, but they were probably much like ours!
Just like her we should trust in the Lord. Trust that what He has promised us will happen. Trust that He will always provide for us. Trust that He will always be watching and waiting for us to return no matter how long it has been.
Let us take Mary as our model; our model of trust. Let us ask Mary to teach us to hear God when He speaks to us through the Scriptures, in our everyday life experiences, and through the murmuring of the Holy Spirit. Ask her to help us to be humble, and to say ‘yes’ to God’s will for us, so that we too may bring Christ to others in our own unique way.
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