KEEP praying to God. Keep praising him! See what He has done for you through the years. Bless him for guiding you, accompanying you through life’s challenges. Rejoice for God has granted you your wishes and prayers. The more that you see His graces makes you become freer to live a distracted and self-indulgent life.
Speak of God’s sovereignty over your life and the world. Don’t let the self-proclaimed gods among you influence your life. Be humble to proclaim God’s power over the universe. He may be quiet sometimes, but He has his reasons for it.
Don’t let any dissatisfaction, resentment, and anger destroy your faith in God. Don’t let these things break your spirit. Rather, trust the Lord’s goodness and consolation. Know that He has plans for you.
Scripture has revealed God’s power over people’s lives in all ages. This Sunday’s Readings gives a powerful statement about it: “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being…He formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.” (Wisdom 1:13-15)
God’s plan is to make you live meaningfully and joyously. God’s plan for you is beyond the things of this world. God’s plan for you is eternal life with him. After all, He created you and wants you to be united with him forever!
As Christians, we believe that God’s climactic power and graciousness came in the Person of Jesus Christ, His only Son. Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection brought life to all, living and dead. Paul tells us in this Sunday’s Second Reading (2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 13-15) about the gracious act of his Son, Jesus Christ: “though he was rich, for your sake became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”
Jesus became poor by becoming one like us in all things but sin, and by bearing the sins of humanity on the cross so that all might be saved and have eternal life. The Gospel of Mark today, which intertwines two stories of healing—the daughter of Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman—illustrates the power of God to bring life in all us here on earth as in heaven.
So why should you doubt God’s existence and power? If our ancient fathers and mothers, the prophets, saints, and all our ancestors testified to the workings of God in their lives, why should you falter in faith? If faith in God has moved so many people to dedicate their lives to preach the Gospel, to care for the poor and the suffering, to write volumes of books about God’s ways and teachings, and to die as a martyr, then why should you then question your faith?
Absolutely, there are mysteries in life that we cannot solve. That’s because our minds cannot completely fathom God’s ways.
So let the words of Psalm 63 be your prayer every day:
O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.
For you love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On you I muse through the night for you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.
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From a Filipino immigrant family, Reverend Rodel G. Balagtas was ordained to the priesthood from St. John’s Seminary in 1991. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Augustine, Culver City (1991-1993); St. Martha, Valinda (1993-1999); and St. Joseph the Worker, Canoga Park (1991-2001). In 2001, he served as Administrator Pro Tem of St. John Neumann in Santa Maria, CA, until his appointment as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Los Angeles, in 2002, which lasted 12 years. His term as Associate Director of Pastoral Field Education at St. John’s Seminary began in July 2014