“We must trust our instincts to obey God and sacrifice our life to His plan for us. Even if we don’t feel at peace with a situation at first, we must have faith to make the necessary changes. That isn’t an easy task, as we often get into a rut. Even though we aren’t really happy in a place-- we get comfortable, so rather than do the work to follow the fulfilling path of Christ, we stay put. At the end that never bodes well for our spiritual and physical being.”
Reading 1 GN 22:1B-19
Responsorial Psalm PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel MT 9:1-8
There was a time when I thought God was far away, and that miracles only happened in biblical times. It is somewhat embarrassing to admit to this. At the time, I did not understand how faith in God affected life. Well, my life went through many difficulties from 1999-2007. I found myself losing hope, and I could not find anything to get me out of the darkness I felt. In yet another attempt to leave the darkness behind, I decided to attend the Christ Renews His Parish retreat here at POP in March 2007. Although I was not a prayerful person, I prayed to God the night before the retreat in hopes that this time would be when my prayer was answered. I still had my faith and believed enough to pray to God for help. As a result, God rewarded me immensely on that retreat weekend with the faith and trust that God IS indeed present to us in this life. My retreat experience was mystical, and the God-given faith, joy, and love I found has never left me since!
Within today’s readings, we see the faith and trust of Abraham (Gen 22:3, 10), and that the Lord rewarded him immensely (Gen 22:15-19). We see faith and trust in the Lord demonstrated in the psalm (115:1, 9), and we can read later in the psalm that the “Lord remembers us and will bless us” because of this faith and trust (115:12). Finally, in the Gospel reading, we recall that Jesus heals the paralytic and forgives his sins because of the faith of those who presented him (Mt 9:2, 7).
May we allow our faith and trust in God to grow through our cooperation with the grace we receive from our active participation at Mass and within our sacraments, from our reading of Scripture, our acts of kindness, prayer, and charity, from our spiritually-based retreat and learning experiences, and from our daily recognition of things for which we are grateful. May these and other activities bring us closer to God in our faith and trust, and may our loving God bless us and our lives, just as these readings and my life have illustrated.