I NEED GOD
Sometimes we feel like nothing is going right no matter what we do. It can seem as though the world is against us and we ask, "Why does this happen to me all at once?"
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves" (Mt 10:16). In yesterday's Gospel, we heard about Jesus telling the disciples to go without money, or belts, no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. And then He tells them they're being sent out to deal with wolves! Have you ever felt like you have been bitten by life a few times?
I thought about the movie "Bruce Almighty," starring Jim Cary. Perhaps you've seen it also. This is what Bruce experiences:
Life and job are bad - news reporter for light stuff
Relationships with those around him are going sour
Blames God for everything that is going wrong
Receives God's powers but he's not allowed to mess with free will
Finds out how hard of a job God has - by answering everyone's prayer with a "yes"
Learns about prayer and life, and said, "I need You, God!"
Today, in the first reading, we hear what Jacob and his family are going through. God speaks to Jacob and tells him that his son, Joseph, is still alive! Despite his advanced age, he sets off for Egypt to be reunited with his son. It is a meeting filled with tears of joy! Since Joseph is so prominent and in such great favor with Pharaoh, he brings his whole family - all his descendants of Israel - with him to Egypt. However, when a new Pharaoh came into power, and not knowing Joseph, he prohibited the Israelites from receiving any royal favors. In fact, they were completely deprived of their social status and put to work as slaves. What had been a dream come true turned into a nightmare of oppression. It seemed that God had sent them into Egypt like sheep among wolves.
In the Gospel, Jesus warns the disciples that they will be met with hostility. Certainly Joseph encountered that same hostility among his own people when they were ill-treated. People who share in the mission of Jesus Christ will also share in His persecution. We, too, are called to do the work of Jesus, prepared to face the ups and downs in our ministry, and the ups and downs of daily living. Sometimes we feel like nothing is going right no matter what we do. It can seem as though the world is against us and we ask, "Why does this happen to me all at once?"
The Gospel Acclamation declares, "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you to all truth and remind you of all I told you." We need to remember who is really in charge, and it certainly isn't us! God's plan is still, and always will be, at work through our humanness. In His wisdom, He saw the purifying experience as necessary for the Israelites as a preparation for the extraordinary experience of the Exodus. We are also to keep in mind that when doors seem to close and all seems to be impossible, God has a plan and with His help and wisdom, new doors will open and things will seem more possible than ever! I believe this is something we've all experienced, right?
Let's remember that we have the gift of faith. In faith, we must believe that God is forming and shaping our lives according to His wisdom and love as surely as He did for those who have gone before us. We need to be people of prayer and this is a great way to start each day!
I need You, God!