”Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Knowing what God wants of us… that’s the challenge for every person of faith. And I am one of them.
Sometimes life tests us more than we would like—and that’s when our relationship with God can change. We’re convinced we have the answers as is “I know what’s best for me, Lord. Are you listening?” Today’s gospel reminds us with a bit of urgency that God’s ways aren’t always our ways. When Jesus foretold his own suffering and death, Peter became agitated and rejected all such talk. Jesus immediately reminded him that he was thinking the way human beings do. Not as God does.
Honestly, I have some sympathy for Peter. After all, who among us can think like God? But what Jesus is saying is that God’s plan may be beyond our comprehension. We must have faith that God’s way is always better than our own. Our role is to be open to our special calling, and to serve others with the gifts we were given, especially the gift of salvation in Christ. And that means sharing our hope of eternal life in the face of happiness as well as sorrow.
Friend, conforming to the expectations of the modern age isn’t always a winning formula, as St. Paul reminds us. But placing our trust in God is. So always have hope. Believe that you are in God’s hands. Answer your call to serve with grace, and you will gain new life just as Jesus has promised.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 5th Sunday August 30, 2020
To You we lift our minds and hearts,
Lord God of mercy and compassion.
Raise us up beyond our limits
and call us out of our small world
that we may see Your plan and Your will
for ourselves, for others, and for the earth.
Help us hear Your voice
in the cry of the poor and
see Your face in those
who suffer oppression.
Let not the noise and tumult
of this passing world
make us deaf to Your truth
or blind to Your presence
in creation, in others, and
Into Your hands, Lord,
we commend our spirit,
our efforts and our projects.
Use them according to Your will
and make us coheirs and
co-creators of Your kingdom on earth.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso