October 3, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time -
A Reflection by Fr. Leo
“How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen!” Often we come to the point, when being overwhelmed by what seems unfair, when we want to pray loudly and with agitation these words of the prophet Habachok. When I scan the news and see helpless victims around the world I want to pray these words. I think it is fair that we wonder where God is at times. We need to express to God our pain and frustration. Doing so is honest and healthy. God can handle it.
Recently I met a woman at the hospital who told the nurse not to let anyone in the chapel for about a half hour. When the nurse asked why, she said, “Its probably pretty hot in there, I just gave God a piece of my mind. He can handle it!” She had just received a difficult diagnosis and didn’t think it was fair after she had spent years taking close care of several sick and dying family members. I loved her honesty!
Just as we should express to God our anger and frustration, we should also listen for God’s answer. For the prophet it was a reminder that God’s justice would come soon enough, that it was not delayed or late. Patience would not disappoint. Now, at this point, some would say that this is simply religion being used as a opiate of the people, Karl Marx for one. And on one level this seems like a fair retort. However, looking deeper, realizing that God’s ways are not our ways, and that his plan is bigger and more than we can understand, we may want to be open to another view.
This is where faith helps us trust that God is in charge, even if it doesn’t feel like God is. That does not mean we should not continue to pray and work for justice out of love. It means we should not allow ourselves to becomes victims. Despite everything, we should be survivors. This is what the Book of Job teaches us and what it means to unite ourselves with the Pascal Mystery. Doing so may not feel good at first, but there may be a sweetness that comes from finding oneself so at one with the redemptive Spirit revealed through Christ.