Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Wednesday, June 27, 2010
Here’s the Problem
Today, in Mercy, Abram and Sarai fall back into a struggle with God’s promise. God tarries with fulfillment and has not yet removed Sarai’s barrenness. The aging couple become impatient.
So, as we all sometimes do when God appears deaf to our prayers, Sarai comes up with her own strategy, clearly outside God’s outlined promise. They will use their slave Hagar to bear Abram’s heir.
The passage doesn’t mean that we should not work hard to fulfill our lives. It isn’t intended to contradict that old wisdom:
Work as if everything depended on you.
Pray as if everything depended on God.
Or as St. Ignatius puts it in a more precise way:
I consider it an error to trust and hope in any means or efforts in themselves alone; nor do I consider it a safe path to trust the whole matter to God our Lord without desiring to help myself by what he has given me; so that it seems to me in our Lord that I ought to make use of both parts, desiring in all things his greater praise and glory, and nothing else.
What this reading does hold up before us is the quality of our faith, the depth of our relationship with God.
- Do I consider every aspect of my experience in the light of prayer, sharing it with God, listening for God’s voice?
- Do I inform my spirit through scripture and spiritual reading, (with what I like to call “a holy culture”), so that I can trust my discernment and be patient for its fulfillment?
- Do I seek the counsel and companionship of those who strengthen the resolve of my spirit?
Abram was making good progress with these stepping stones, then Sarai threw him a curve with the offer of Hagar as his concubine. But don’t just blame Sarai. Good old Abram caught the curve and ran with it!🙂
Life pitches us all a lot of curves. It can be hard to catch God’s Voice as the curve buzzes by us!
Let’s pray today to let this story teach us whatever we need to learn about our own faith, discernment, patience, and “holy culture”.
Music: I Can Hear Your Voice – Michael W. Smith