Living the Gospel – August 23, 2020

Home > Living the Gospel > Living the Gospel – August 23, 2020

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?”

There are days when nearly everyone wonders where God is in the problems of our nation and world. As one theologian said, “I think that we want to know the unknowable and ‘scrute’ the inscrutable”. I wonder – is this simply due to our insecurities – or a desire to direct God according to our personal desires? Or do we simply want to understand why God permits these problems?

The story of Job offers us some beginning insights. Near the end of his ordeals, God spoke to him, saying “Who is this that obscures divine plans with ignorance?…gird up your loins, now, like a man…” (ch.38-41). Job finally proclaims “I know that you can do all things, and no purpose of yours can be hindered.”

The saints of our Church took a similar approach. Instead of focusing on themselves and their comforts, their hearts gently turned towards the needs of others. Did they do good deeds in order to “earn favors” from God? Or as a “gift” to God? I don’t think so. The only gift we can offer to God is ourselves, prayerfully being transformed into honest Christians, doing Christ’s work. St. Therese of Lisieux simply said that she “will go to God with empty hands.”

In our New Testament reading today, St. Paul was very clear that we don’t understand God’s ways. We struggle and are often in distress; we get impatient and complain. To sincerely accept our limitations is difficult. It calls us out of our sheltered, small world into the Reality that God sees and loves. We simply need to follow Jesus: trust, pray, share and serve .

Dorothy Hathway, OCDS, CSJA