Daily Reflection for Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Peace and Blessings Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s scripture readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Jeremiah 14:17-22
Responsorial: Psalm 79:8-9, 11 and 13
Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
… his angels … will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin” (Matthew 13:41)
This phrase from Tuesday’s gospel got my attention. I don’t think I cause others to sin . . . to reject God. I simply try to help people’s faith. But two memories brought me up short.
I remembered driving across Kansas and dozing off at 75 mph. The car drifted, but the sound of the tires on the shoulder woke me up. I got control of the car and all was okay. Later, I said, “Thank you, God!” But I also recalled a good friend who fell asleep at the wheel. The resulting crash killed him and a friend.
Second, I recalled my five procedures and 4½ years of treatment for heart arrhythmia. When I was told I was cured, I said, “Thank you, God!” But at a viewing for a much younger deceased friend, I learned he had died from heart arrhythmia.
What brought me up short is that if my friend’s family heard my words, that could have led them to be angry with God for appearing to “play favorites.”
All of us want to help others grow in their faith. But saying things that can be heard as casting doubt on God’s love for them can weaken their faith. Often, when Jesus healed someone, he told them to not tell others about it. In saying, “Your faith has saved you,” Jesus tells us to live by faith – not by proof.
In addition, God uses people as channels of his grace, e.g., Abraham, Moses, Mary . . . and Jesus’ apostles. Looking for proof of God’s personal intervention can lead us to overlook human channels of His grace. Even Jesus, the ultimate channel of God’s grace, was vilified and crucified because He hadn’t healed everyone. Like the Pharisees, the people wanted signs and action in their lives, not faith.
But faith helps everyone. A faith that transcends setbacks inspires us. Relying on proof undermines faith. I believe I’m called to be a witness of faith, not proof. I believe I’m also called to witness to the channels of God’s grace into my life . . . the highway engineer who put “noisy shoulders” in that highway . . . friends who encouraged healthy life choices . . . the hospital staff. They all allowed God to work through them. I see God in all of them. Ordinary human vessels often carry the beauty of God’s grace to us.
Who has been a channel of God’s grace in your life? Do we witness faith to others . . . or do we rely on proof?
Peace, my friends,