Posts Tagged ‘all things work for good’

Do You Love God?

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Thursday of 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary

Romans 8: 28-30Mt 1: 18-23

By Deacon Larry Brockman

Do you love God?    Most of us would say “yes”, we do love God;  but if you’re honest, there’s a twinge of something in the back of your mind, a doubt almost.  Because when you come right down to it, loving God is something that is hard to verbalize and visualize.

You can love your spouse, your parents, your children, and other people partly because you can visualize them.  They are there in flesh and blood to hug, to share and to reciprocate affection and love.  You can feel it and visualize it.  But loving God is different, isn’t it?  You can say you love God when you pray, and for most of us, the response from God is mostly silent, or subtle at best.

Paul speaks eloquently of the Love of God this morning.  He says that:  “We know that all things work for good for those who love God who are called according to His purpose”.  So very simply, we show that we love God by accepting the call God has given us; and the proof that we are truly loving God will be that God assures that all things will work for good when we do that.  Loving God shows results by fulfilling God’s plan.  And that “good” is something that we can see; it’s like the hug we receive from our loved ones.

Of course the “good” that Paul is talking about is an ultimate good, the good that God intends.  That doesn’t always match the “good” that people seek on their own.  So, one has to be particularly discerning about the good we sense.  Some of us have special talents- artistic or technical or sporting or any number of other skills.  When we use those talents and skills the way they were intended, we feel good inside- a validation that things are working for good.  Many of you do things for other people- caring for the sick, helping those in need; teaching; and a whole host of other things.  They make us feel good as well; and that is an expression of the good that God intends.

This morning we are celebrating the birth of the Blessed Mother.  And our Gospel speaks of the prophecy God made to Mary using the Angel Gabriel through the eyes of her husband Joseph, who received validation of that prophecy when an angel of the Lord appeared to him and gave him the same message as Mary about the baby Jesus.

Both Mary and Joseph accepted God’s will for them; they married under less than ideal circumstances; and parented the child Jesus because it was God’s will for them.  Joseph did not divorce Mary but accepted her as his wife; Mary accepted that the child inside her was God’s child.  They both lived their lives by parenting Jesus in the best way they knew how.  They were called to a relatively straightforward, yet important task.

It’s something most of us have done or will do as well-  marry under less than an ideal situation, and parent children.  It is an awesome responsibility to parent any child-  they are a fantastic gift to any family.  But that is also what most of us have or will do.

My point is that neither Mary nor Joseph was asked to do anything tremendously extraordinary in life.  They didn’t invent the i- phone; they didn’t lead an army to victory; they didn’t write a best seller; they didn’t break any world sporting records.  They just parented the child Jesus, accepting the trials and tribulations of everyday life along the way.  For some of us, we may not be called to do extraordinary things in this life either.  But that’s OK, it is only necessary that we follow the calling we do have.  And all things will work for good when we do that.

Now the good that Mary and Joseph worked was not the good that the world expected.  The Messiah that the Jews expected was a King, someone in the image of a David or Solomon.  That isn’t what Jesus became; and yet, Mary knew.  Mary knew that Jesus was special; and all things were working for good through Him.  In the same way, we will know when things truly work for the good of God.  We will see it in our children and their lives.

Of course, like God and his children, we have to let go of our children at some point because they have free will, and are open to choose to follow God’s will for them or not.  But no matter what they do, we will still always love them.  It’s like the Love we are supposed to have for God- with our whole mind, our whole heart, and our whole soul, isn’t it.

Do you love God that way?