Are you willing to trust God with everything?
What steps can you take to develop a deeper trust in God’s provision?
As I look in the passage in today’s Gospel and Epistle, I put myself in the same position, how to react and what to do as Christian person who follows Christ.
As a friar living a life of vows, professed totally to God and my superior’s will, and offering prayers for the needs of those who needs me, I must take St. Paul as an example. The Apostle St Paul tells us today in the Epistle to the Thessalonians that with his own hands he provided funding for his existence, for food and for his missions that he must accomplish and traveling to all of those places he must visit.
In following his example, I have prayed a lot for the last two years for a stable job, so I can finance my work within the Dominican Order and the Church, and God answered my prayers for the glory and proclamation of his Kingdom. We as Independent Old Catholic clergy and religious follow this example to supply what we need for our spiritual work, firstly with work that will provide us money so we can invest in those abandoned and marginalized people who often are forgotten from their dominant parishes in our cities and towns. In today’s Gospel we read about all these natural signs from one side and from another side all what occur in today’s world scene full of hatred, criminal benefit of business with weapons making wars, destroying countries, making millions of refugees scattered in every corner in the globe, destroying families and homes into ruins. This all must be fulfilled as a sign that our God will return in this world one more time to give His righteous judgement for all acts of evil to be put in end and give punishment or redemption to those that their names are written in the Book of Life or eternal separation from the light for those that have followed their evil deeds of the devil.
We go back in the old testament where the Prophet Malachi has written this:
“But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays”
That’s what God desires for us, not because he needs our money or time or whatever else we can offer him, instead, he doesn’t want us to miss the blessing that comes from giving as St Paul showed us. We don’t get paid for our work as clergy because it is not some kind of occupation but it is life of vocation, we don’t get paid by someone higher than us, but we work here or there to provide food for us and those that we take care of, and then after we get home in our oratories we put our habits as visible sign of our dedicated vowed life and we continue with our work in and at our ministry that we are called to serve. This often reminds me that in the 21st century we yet live like in the time of St Apostle Paul. We don’t live or work or ministry so we wait to be paid. Our rewards and provisions come only from God. We are of those who must do our best to accommodate and help our neighbors in need, that is real ministry.
Let me compare another example, like that one when Jesus and his disciples decided to eat the Passover lamb, they payed someone for a rented room, and there in that rented room, we received our most important sacrament: the gift of holy Eucharist, the first mass. This, again, reminds me of my poor humble oratory with altar in the center, few candles, crucifix, one bed, few books. This is how I work for Jesus. There does not come a huge congregation, and I don’t stand up in a huge crowd of people. We minister to those who need us, one or two or three persons at a time, and yet there in between stands Jesus giving us a clear statement that two or three gathered in His name, showing that he remains with us invisible with Holy Spirit or visible in the Altar under the sign of bread and wine.
But let us stand bold, do not get discouraged, having his name written in our hearts, baptized in his name, we belong to Him. As he was seized, persecuted, we must realize that the same could occur to us as today we see how our brothers and sisters face persecutions and martyrdom in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and many other places.
Praise the Lord for the peace this the places where live and support petitions for the persecuted brothers and sisters as many will be crowned as martyrs, let’s not get discouraged, or to live in fear that comes from the wicked devil, but rejoice, we will inherit Heaven! Let us continue to share the good news to many, so all of us can enter there and share God’s love and eternal life.
As a friar in the Dominican Order, I am called to serve and live by the charism of our father St Dominic de Guzman as preacher of the Gospel and truth, not with preaching long sermons, but that what we share with others to correspond with the way of our life that we daily walk the path of thrones in this valley of tears.
We must not be afraid, but stay bold in Jesus, he is our doctor, physician, healer, our Lord and Redeemer.
I am reminded of the American hymn, “Living for Jesus”:
“Living for Jesus”
Thomas O. Chisholm
Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do,
yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free, this is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to thee, for thou, in thy atonement, didst give thyself for me;
I own no other master, my heart shall be thy throne, my life I give, henceforth to live,
O Christ, for thee alone.
Now take few minutes to imagine what Jesus would say about your Christian life to this point. What does he think about your faith, what does he think about your accomplishments for his kingdom, would he describe you as someone growing closer to him every day?