Today’s first reading really hit a personal “nerve” for me this morning. I have always been strong in my faith to do the will of God but in the quiet of my mind where only God and I can hear the conversation, I committed a rather egregious error. I wanted to be recognized publicly for the “good” works I thought I was performing for God. I had many a conversation with God about this. Thank goodness – or more appropriately, thank God – that He is a patient God, one who is willing to wait for me to mature; one who is willing to let me have those conversations and one who is willing to converse back with me. Because of that active dialog with God (that I have had for years), I can now see the folly of my ways and today’s readings help me understand more clearly my purpose, my role in this life.
After doing good works for the Gentiles; after healing a man who was crippled from birth, the people of Lystra chose to treat Paul and Barnabas as gods themselves. Paul and Barnabas, being true men of God, men who understood their role perfectly as mere instruments for the Lord, chastised the people of Lystra for treating them in such a manner. In reflecting on this reading, I have to ask myself would I have reacted in the same manner? To be truly honest, I probably would have loved the acclamation’s the people tried to bestow on Paul and Barnabas. As I continue to grow, as I go deeper into my faith and deeper into my relationship with God, I understand now to seek those acclamation’s is wrong. All that I have is from God, all that I offer other’s is from God too. Any gifts that I have come from God and should only be used to honor and praise Him. If someone were to read this blog and find his/her way back to God, All Praise be to God. If someone were to go to Mass and found inspiration through the music we as a parish do, All Praise be to God. If I am awarded a project that I either bid or ran that was profitable for my employer – All Praise be to God.
I was inspired to read our first reading, then our psalm (Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.) and then to hear the Word of God proclaimed in our Gospel this morning…
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.”
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.”
I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns…
Humbly Lord, we worship you; Our Redeemer King. You who died to give us life, hear us as we sing. Jesus Lord and God of all, come to us we pray. Thus united in your love, may we live this day.
Jesus Lord we offer You, every act this day. May we live our love for You and Your will obey. Jesus Lord and God of all, come to us we pray. Thus united in your love, may we live this day.
(There are more verses to this hymn, but as a Catholic, we only sing 2. 😉 )
Do something great for our Lord today – live humbly, live for Christ and as we were told in yesterday’s Gospel, love one another.
God’s will, NOT MINE, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.