“Great opportunities to please God are infrequent,”
But turning little actions into great acts can happen all the time...
Trust is freeing. When we trust we believe that those we love will do what they promise. And our faith in them builds when they do. If we have a problem in the middle of the night, faithful friends can be counted on to get up and help. If...
Usually, it stands unnoticed in the corner of my office. It is as convenient and unromantic as its neighbor, the water cooler. Yet, when it rains and snows, my coat rack patiently holds out its hooks to embrace my scarf, coat, and gloves....
It’s easy to “be” called a Christian, but more difficult to “become” Christian. On the day of our Baptism, the minister baptizes us in blessed waters and immediately our sins are washed away. We shine and sparkle like the newly formed...
Trust is freeing. When we trust we believe that those we love will do what they promise. And our faith in them builds when they do. If we have a problem in the middle of the night, faithful friends can be counted on to get up and help. If we feel we’re sinking under the weight of difficulties, loyal friends give kind and considerate answers. And when we ask for forgiveness and understanding, we trust friends to offer that support. Trust surely proclaims the promises faith generates.
It works the same with faith in Jesus. Jesus calls us to follow Him in friendship. As a loving friend, Jesus makes good on all His promises. We need only trust in His words.
We do this when we fall off our path, losing our way. We glance upward, knowing Jesus waits to lead our way, and soon the light shines anew.
Or those times we speak hurtful words to those we love, forgetting all the good deeds Jesus does for us. Once we remember Jesus’ words of forgiveness and mercy, we get up, and try again. We remember then that Jesus never forgets us.
When trust like this floods our hearts, we rise up and start anew. Trust helps us remember what Jesus declares by His actions. It is this trust in Jesus’ promises that fashions a far deeper faith.
Our trust and faith also frees us from life’s fears and anxiety; making us “doers” in life rather than life’s “spectators.” With faith in Jesus strong, and trust in His promises flourishing, we see more clearly what our time on earth is – “loving God in this world to be with God in the next.“ We now better appreciate God’s love for us, and our love for God. And so when it comes to God, and our love for Him, trust and faith do go hand in hand.
Usually, it stands unnoticed in the corner of my office. It is as convenient and unromantic as its neighbor, the water cooler. Yet, when it rains and snows, my coat rack patiently holds out its hooks to embrace my scarf, coat, and gloves.
Long in service, short on looks, it makes up in good will what it lacks in beauty. As I reflect on its presence, I often think every wallflower can blossom. We all have potential for greatness.
Each year we are given new offers and opportunities for personal reflection and growth. It’s a true gift from our loving God. However, and as we often do, we focus on the things we don’t do well, and continue to wonder if we ever will get it right.
Here’s where my clothes rack can teach us a marvelous lesson.
We all have a purpose and it shines through even if we think it doesn’t. Through God’s love, we do blossom! The Lord never measures us by our last mistake, but only sees what is possible in the next moment? This is the God of mercy and love that Pope Francis is asking us to think more about as we live this year in front of us. God is always ready to forget the past, and invite us into our future with excitement, hope and promise.
Unlike my very boring clothes rack, St. Francis de Sales writes to remind us that God is with us each step of the way–as it is God’s presence which is the very foundation for our greatness. De Sales writes:
“Let us go forward to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow.”Read More
The three kings from the East brought expensive gifts to Bethlehem, of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which sparkled amidst the straw, farm animals and the poverty of this holy family.
While these gifts seemed appropriate to bring to the King of Kings, this particular infant monarch was not awed. Although the Magi did bow and worship before Jesus and His parents, the wise men returned home without giving the gifts this “royal” desired most. Jesus wanted their presence, their friendship and most of all their company, but they had to go before trouble overtook them. The affection Jesus wanted from them never materialized, as the Magi were never aware of what Jesus desired.
As we move farther into this New Year, we have the ability to make up for this oversight in our daily lives with the riches of little deeds. We can offer the gifts of our time and presence, the gifts of our love and friendship, as well as the gifts of our prayers and conversation. We can also respond with greater patience to those around us who need patience the most. And instead of annoyance and harshness, we give them gentleness and tenderness.
We can share–these–our gifts instead of hoarding them. These are the special gifts that our newborn King especially wants. And know, that when we share them with the others around us, we are sharing them with Christ. And He is always willing to help us offer them – one day at a time.
Remember, St. Francis de Sales writes:
“Great occasions to serve God rarely present themselves,
but little ones are frequent.”Read More