Father Chuck, my parish priest back home, gave an excellent homily this past Sunday. He talked about how Sunday’s gospel calls us to separate ourselves from sin and worldly desire in order that we might be fulfilled. He told a story about how earlier that week he received a call to go do an anointing of the sick for someone who was a non-parishioner. In his mind, he admitted, “God I really don’t want to go, like really?” Then upon arriving, he found a first grader with a brain tumor, and her prognosis was not good. He anointed her and prayed with her and her family, and left feeling fulfilled. He realized that sometimes God calls us out of a place of total convenience to a place of less convenience, but He meets us there and surprises us. He opens the door to serve Him in a very intimate way, in a way that fulfills our desires. Whether it be our desire to be loved, served, to serve, heal, whatever it may be, God sees it and wishes to fulfill it, but first, we must say yes. Say yes to a total surrender to Him, so that we can be His hands and feet.
This homily really spoke to me because over the past month it’s been trial after trial, with several periods of dryness. Every time I go pray, it’s like here I am Lord, and I know you are here and listening. I know Lord, that you love me. In my mind, I think I would rather be doing a billion other things, but instead, I get on my knees and pray. For my Father, up in Heaven promises, that even when I feel nothing He is doing something.
I realize that sometimes God has to lead us to a place where we do not want to go in order to fulfill us. Jesus had to be scourged, beaten, carry the cross, be stripped naked, and crucified.Do you think he did it because he just wanted to or did He do it to fulfill the scripture? So that we might be saved?
If where you are now or where you might be going makes you want to turn around, or try to cheat your way through it, I want you to think about Christ’s passion. Did He take the easy way out? Or did He completely empty Himself? Could He not just as easily taken Himself down from that cross? But then again how can one conquer death if he does not first die to himself?
Think about how much He loves you, and that he wishes to fulfill you.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”John 21:18