Sep 30 2020 Reflection
Wednesday 30 September 2020
First Reading: JB 9:1-12, 14-16
Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
PS 88:10BC-11, 12-13, 14-15
Gospel Reading: LK 9:57-62
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
I could not believe that he would hearken to my words. (Job 9:16)
Job was at the point of complete hopelessness when he uttered these words. Even if God should answer him, Job still wouldn’t believe that he was actually listeningto his needs. Nothing Job could do or say would change his lot. God had all the power, and he was leaving Job in the dust. Or so it seemed.
So it might also seem to us, especially when sickness strikes our loved ones or when our bank account runs into the red. As Job’s story shows us, these are age-old crises, just as old as the tendency to question whether God is listening when we cry out to him.
But before jumping to the same conclusion that Job did, turn your attention to today’s Gospel. Jesus is traveling with his disciples, and amazingly, he is listening to them and answering them. And what’s even more impressive is that he is responding to them based not only on the words they say to him but on the intention of their hearts. His words may seem harsh at first, but they are exactly the right words to help these disciples discover deeper freedom by following him.
Jesus listens to you on a level that is deeper than you might expect. Like a perceptive friend or spouse, he knows what is behind your words. Out loud, you might say, “I’m sick of living in uncertainty” (or pain, or rejection), but in your heart, he hears you saying, “I’m afraid” or “I’m sleep deprived.” He will answer you. Sometimes he will answer directly, as he did in today’s Gospel. Sometimes he pours out comfort and encouragement. And other times, he answers in silence—only to show you later that he was walking with you through your trials.
What a blessing it is that God can withstand our frustrations and accusations! He understands us so deeply. He knows exactly what you are going through today—you don’t even need to tell him. So trust that he knows your heart. Believe that he hearkens to your deepest thoughts and concerns. And know that he will shed light, one way or another, that will guide you closer to him.
“Jesus, thank you for not only listening to me but for understanding me and ministering to my deepest needs.”