April 30, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings invite us to consider our capacity to trust. Who, what, why and when do we feel that we can trust?
In Acts, we see a beautiful example of the community trusting itself – presenting a concern, having it heard, and coming to a mutual resolution.
As the number of disciples continued to grow,Acts 6: 1-5
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
What a blessing such a process would be in any community from family, to work, social, and global communities!
But it’s not easy to come by that kind of trust, is it? It has to be proven – accumulated over small and consistent affirmations that such trust is safely given to the other, whoever that might be.
In our Gospel, the disciples’ ability to trust is tested.
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,John 6: 16-17
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
Jesus walks across the stormy water to meet his frightened disciples. They are afraid of the wind, the night and the wonder of Jesus.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the spiritually gifted Paula D’Arcy:
“Who would I be,
and what power would be expressed in my life,
if I were not dominated by fear.”
If you’re like me, your first inclination is to think, ” Well, I’m not dominated by fear!”
Just wait a minute. I encourage you to think about it. How has, or does, fear hold you back in your life?
As human beings, we harbor many fears even if we pretend to be very brave. We may be afraid of failure, loneliness, responsibility, insignificance, aging, dying or a thousand other things. Essentially, what we most fear is that we might be unloved or unlovable.
Just as he came to the disciples, Jesus comes to us through the night of any fear to prove that we are irrevocably safe in God’s Love. Even in darkness, we are the precious breath and heartbeat of God and cannot be extinguished by our fears.
Poetry: Trust by Lizette Woodworth Reese, (1856-1935), an American poet and teacher. Born in Maryland, she taught English for almost five decades in the schools of Baltimore. Though Reese was successful in prose as well as in poetry, the latter was her forté. She was named Poet Laureate of Maryland in 1931.
I am thy grass, O Lord!
I grow up sweet and tall
But for a day; beneath Thy sword
To lie at evenfall.
Yet have I not enough
In that brief day of mine?
The wind, the bees, the wholesome stuff
The sun pours out like wine.
Behold, this is my crown;
Love will not let me be;
Love holds me here; Love cuts me down;
And it is well with me.
Lord, Love, keep it but so;
Thy purpose is full plain;
I die that after I may grow
As tall, as sweet again.