Sunday, October 3, 2010

How Long O Lord

 We Catholics often focus on the Gospel text  when preaching on the Sunday readings.  Today however I was struck by the way that the first reading, from the prophet Habakkuk expresses what is in the heart of so many people who endure trial and hardship, turning to God all the time, but being frustrated that God doesn't seem to answer them.  For the entire text of the reading just click on the reference below, then click on the reference below.

Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4

 We all ask at times "How long o Lord?  How often to I have to pray?  Are you Really there?"
As normal as it is to raise such questions and as understandable as it is that trial and hardship put faith to the test we need to remind ourselves often that the purpose of prayer is not to get God to do things for us, but to open ourselves to God and to seek deeper union with God.

   The prophet in this reading tells us that "the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.  In other words the point is to trust that if we are in God's hands all will be well, even if it doesn't seem so at the time, to be humble enough to admit that God's perspective is bigger than mine.  To pray is to go before God with our life just as it is, certainly to express our wishes, but then to let go and trust that if we are in God's hands all will be well.

A theologian once defined hope not as optimism, the belief that the glass is half full and not half empty, but rather hope is believing that when the glass is bone dry God will get you through it.

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