From the Pastor’s desk— March 26, 2023
There is a secret to surviving tough times, a secret to the thousands, if not millions, of people who have suffered trails, heartache, and darkness in their lives- the martyrs, the saints, the soldiers, and the prisoners. When darkness surrounds you, hold on to the light (of God) inside of you.
That light has come to us in this past week in the celebrations of Laetare Sunday, the Solemnity of St Joseph, and the Annunciation of our Lord. In every one of these moments is a reminder that even if we don’t understand how God is asking of us (telling Joseph to leave in the middle of the night to Egypt or telling Mary she will get pregnant without a man) as long as we can say “yes”, God’s light will come with us.
I think the great challenge most of us face when we pray is that we want God’s light to shine in such a way that we see everything ahead of us, we want all the answers but often God’s response is a light that shines only on the next step. In the Annunciation, Mary gives us the best response to God, “May it be done to me according to your word.” Mary does not insist that God shed more light on His plans, she responds from her core belief of God and mystery just as Martha does today, “your will be done.”
With this phrase, “your will be done”, Mary and Martha are getting us ready for Jesus’ great response to the Father on the most difficult day of His life. This phrase gives us the core element of every prayer- we may ask for whatever we seek, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, (“take this cup away from me”) but it must end with trust in God’s plan (“your will be done”). This trust is the light that goes with us whatever we face in life.
Often when we take time, as we do now in Lent, to look at our faults and shortcomings, we become aware that we are not as trusting in God’s will as we wish and then become saddened or disheartened. It is at this moment we need to follow the example of the man who said to Jesus “ Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” or in this case, “Lord, I trust in you, help my untrust.”
This is a simple yet beautiful prayer we can add to our Lenten practices and what should be the heart of our Lent and prayer life, seeking to grow in what we lack. So often we forget to ask God for what we are stressed about, but in reality, our faith is no secret, it is a willingness to walk in trust and say “yes” even if we can only see the next step in front of us, the light is still there.
With a heart for Mission,