The Office of Stewardship
“And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me”
Those of you who have the time in the midst of this pandemic to reflect each day on the daily readings for Mass know that the Gospels this week are drawn from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel, commonly called, “the Bread of Life Discourse.” What really jumped out to me this morning as I listened to it was the quote above, that the will of God is that Jesus should not lose anything that God had given him. As I let that line sink into my heart, there was a great peace which flowed from it. In this line, I felt held by Jesus . . . taken care of . . . found.
I think the line touched my heart because sometimes I feel lost. At other times, I am fearful of becoming lost. I am afraid I will take a wrong turn or that, burying myself in the endless stream of tasks laid out by life each day, I will frantically plow through it with my head down only to pop up exhausted at the end and like Bugs Bunny exclaim, “I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque!”
I, like you, desire to do the Will of God. I know that choosing his path will lead to the greatest happiness. But sometimes my ability to choose wrongly, my own blindness, my weakness of will, loom larger in my vision than His faithfulness and love. And then I become fearful; fearful of getting lost. Today’s first reading, though, reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, “God writes straight with our crooked lines.” Today, we hear of the first persecution of the new Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-8). Fr. Matt, in his homily this morning, reminded us that one of the fruits of this persecution was that the Christians left Jerusalem for other towns. And as Acts says, “those who had been scattered went about preaching the Word.” So the persecution led to the message of Christ spreading; the fruit of the attempts of the Church’s enemies to thwart its growth actually fostered its growth. Even a persecution worked toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ command that the Gospel be preached to the ends of the earth. So I am reminded that God is bigger than any missteps I may make.
And I am further comforted in knowing that God’s will is that I should not be lost. He sent Jesus into the world so that he might not lose me. He is with me. He beckons me to Him. Always. Everywhere. I need not fear my own weakness, my own blindness. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) He holds us in the light of His love.
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