Seek the Lord
My sister is an expressive arts therapist and hears the feelings of her clients on a regular basis. She told me the other day that people are anxious about many things: about the economy; about the wildfires; about the future of the country and its direction; about the invisible interests that foreign powers may have over us; about race relations, police brutality, and social unrest; and of course the ongoing possibility of catching the coronavirus and its possible complications.
Every now and then, someone asks me, “where is God in all of this?” As Christians we insist that God is love and that Jesus Christ discloses divine love to us. We also know that we are made for God.
Anything going on around us that instills fear within us, can be used to reflect on these questions: Do we, gratefully and humbly, lift up our hearts to God? Or do we seek love and fulfillment apart from God?
Anxiety is fear about an uncertain future. For the saints, this world of ours is not as real as the one to come. St Paul in the first reading was not afraid about his uncertain future which ended in his capital punishment in Rome. Rather, he tells us in today’s second reading, “I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Perhaps we are not quite there in his detachment from this world and longing for the next. If we fear, let us welcome fear as an invitation to “Seek the LORD while he may be found,” as Isaiah says in the first reading, and to “call him while he is near.”
Any evil that occurs God permits only because he is able to bring from it a new and greater good. We may not see how this all works out, but we know that nothing can impede God’s providence. God may even use our own weak-nesses and failings, as he did with St Augustine, who moved by his competitive and ambitious spirit, went to hear the bishop St Ambrose to judge the quality of his oratory. We know that deep down, it was the Lord’s providence.
The Lord tells us in the first reading, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”
God makes nothing evil but knows how to make good use, not only of the good, but also of the evil. That indeed is the very thing St Augustine’s life invites us, to learn to see in our own life. A year ago none of us could foresee the tumultuous current affairs we are living through.
When we consider how we should live, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call Him while he is near.” The Lord is near to all who call upon Him. We gather each Sunday, whether in person or whether you join us on Facebook live, to precisely to seek Him, to praise Him, to thank Him, to receive Him. All to the glory of God.
Blessings,Fr. Carlos Medina, OSA