Daily Reflection for Friday, October 02, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Responsorial: Psalm 139:1-3, 7-10, 13-14AB
Gospel: Matthew 18: 1-5, 10
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 3
Have you ever watched a hesitant and fearful child try something new? Our youngest grandchild delights in watching others take risks to try something new, but often respectfully declines. Although her backyard is on a channel of water that leads to a lake, she had limited her engagement in activities around the water to riding in the boat, holding tightly onto an adult in the water, or standing in the sand with feet barely wet as she watched others frolic in the water.
During one of my visits this summer, she asked, “Grandma, can I swim to you?” I was a little surprised, but I backed up and beckoned her forward. With her Puddle Jumper on, she swam to me kicking her legs and moving her arms and her face above the water. Gradually I moved further back and finally I asked her to put her face in the water as she swam. At this request, I could see “no” written all over her face. My response was, “Lily, do you trust Grandma?” “Yes,” she said and with a wave to come toward me, she put her face in the water and swam to me. Filled with joy at her accomplishment, she agreed to take off her Puddle Jumper and began swimming solo several feet underwater!
As I reflected on how her trust in me allowed her to gain confidence and a new skill, it occurred to me that God similarly asks us to trust Him in the readings today. Job had lost his family, health, and possessions. When he “questions” God about his situation, God responds with comments like, “have you ever commanded the morning” and “entered into the sources of the sea…?” From the center of such suffering, I can certainly understand Job’s questions and challenges. Lily was rightly afraid of the water, but she trusted that I wanted the best for her, that I loved her and that I would enable her to take one step at a time to learn how to swim. Job also learned to trust God.
Like Job, we often have valid reasons for being hesitant or frightened. Just turn on the news, or experience the death of a loved one. In the Psalms today, God reminds us that he is already there with us. He knows when we sit and when we stand. With our ways he is familiar. No matter in what situation we find ourselves, “even there your hand shall guide me.” In the same way that I guided Lily, to a much greater degree, God guides us.
When we trust God, we trust that He surrounds us with His love for us. God wants the best for us and will empower us with what we need in the situation before us, even if we can only take one step forward at a time. Trusting God replaces fear with hope and as we take those steps, joy enters our heart.
What situations threaten your heart with fear? Can you turn to God and trust Him?
Blessings for the journey!