Thursday, October 23, 2014
29th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled; but I have a baptism to undergo and what anguish I feel until it is over!
“Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided; three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Over the phone a caller I still had to meet told me between sobs: “Father,” he said, “I cannot understand why I am having all these fears when in fact I have drawn nearer to God after I have abandoned my carefree lifestyle.” “What fears, for example?” I inquired. “I am inclined to say I had more peace before than now,” he declared. As I listened, he sounded like he was a man remorseful of his past, disappointed of his present and fearful of the future. When he felt silent I knew it was my turn to talk.
As empty vessels make the most noise, a life full of fun does not guarantee inner peace. Some people give up their carefree lifestyle and return to the Lord. But by expecting that life will treat them better this time, they are not really giving up anything but are just trying to switch from one source of fun to another.
A person who returns to the Lord is presumed to abide by God’s plan. When one by returning to the Lord leads God to believe that a remorseful inner disposition exists deep within him, and God timely acts upon that representation and sends that person the grace to complete the process of repentance, that person is presumed to have submitted himself totally to God’s plan. Admittedly, God’s ways can truly be scary because after He shows the repentant person the root of his problem, He leads him to discover the solution which can be as frightening. The discovery can be disturbing and the person can lose even the external peace he used to experience. But the loss is momentary – as momentary as the pangs of birth, which God allows if only to lead the repentant person to resurrection.
Those who have returned to the Lord expecting lots of fun won’t persevere because they chicken out as soon as they see the tip of their problem. Scared to dig deep they shy away and lose forever any opportunity to soar high. One has a choice. He can continue the external fun and hold on to skin-deep peace, or he can return to the Lord, allow God to disturb his peace and eventually attain inner peace.
“Father, I want this kind of peace”, my telephone counselee declared.” He stopped sobbing and put down the phone. I had my peace! – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website:www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the grace of perseverance in our journey to inner peace. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. John Capistrano, Priest. Born in 1386, he
studied law at Perugia and for a time was governor of that city. He
entered the Order of Friars Minor and, after ordination to the
priesthood, he led an untiring apostolic life preaching throughout
Europe. He died in 1456.