Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mighty Deeds

"Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”   So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith." ~from Mark 6:1-6

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to attend daily Mass on my lunch break.  Those thirty minutes of prayer in the midst of sharing bits and pieces of my client's lives at the clinic where I work helps me to cope with the stories I hear that are sad, stressful and difficult. And those thirty minutes of prayer allow me to deeply thank God when the stories I hear are happy, miraculous and joyful.

At a recent noon Mass, during his homily, Fr. Matt Walsh, SJ, spoke about Mark's  Gospel passage regarding the lack of welcome that Jesus received in His hometown.  He asked, "What could it possibly mean that Jesus wasn't able to perform any mighty deed apart from curing a few sick?  Wasn't curing a few sick considered a mighty deed?"   Fr. Matt explained that the mighty deeds that Jesus had wanted to perform weren't pertaining to the curing of the sick but rather to the increasing of faith in the people of his home town.  These people knew Jesus from His earliest days and they could not accept the fact that He was the Son of God.  They couldn't believe.

I reflected upon this as I prayed for the clients I had seen in my office that morning and for those that I would see in the afternoon to come.  So many of the women I see live lives of deep faith and trust, never really knowing where their next meal will come from, or waiting long hours for transportation while their restless children run and play in cold hallways, fearlessly fleeing from far-away countries for the promise of a better life in America where everything, including the language and the food, is strange to them, struggling to break free from abusive relationships and create a new life for themselves, selflessly giving their babies up for adoption, trusting that a stranger can promise a better life for the little ones that grow within their wombs.  Don't all of these situations require lives of faith and trust in a God who can bring good out of a seemingly hopeless situation?  

And how do I fit into the scenario of faith?  Perhaps I am more like those hometown residents of Jesus than I would care to admit.  Even when I am witness to stories of hope and faith through the course of my workday, when I see God performing miracles of love in lives that are extremely difficult, I fail to put my full trust in the Lord and believe that He will continue to carry me forward to a beautiful life abandoned completely to His love.  Too often I act as though all of the problems I encounter can be resolved through my own actions.  I dig my heels in and stubbornly resist God's plans for my life, rather than believing that with God all things are possible, even my own sanctity.

I do believe, Lord.  Help my unbelief.  Don't turn your back on my lack of faith but open my heart to  Your ability and desire to perform mighty deeds within my soul.  Amen.

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