The Weekend of September 18/19, 2021
September 19, 2021
Dear People of God,
Fall has arrived so very quickly. Soon we will witness a burst of color from trees preparing to rest for the long wintery season. Change is in the air – and change always brings challenges. How do we deal with the challenges in our lives? Read and reflect on the challenges found in the following stories.
Columnist Herb Kane, in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, tells about an executive presiding over a lunchtime meeting and in a busy San Francisco restaurant. The executive was having no luck getting the attention of any waiter in the place. He finally became so frustrated at the lack of service that he took out his cell phone from his pocket and, from his table, called the restaurant. He asked to have a waiter come and take their order. It worked. In the “busy restaurants” of our own lives – we need to sometimes step back and “call home”- so to speak!
We hear from Habakkuk: “How long, O Lord? I cry for help – but you do not listen! “
Sometimes we feel we’re at the top of the mountain of life. Our lives seem clearly focused – everything seems to be falling into place. Our faith is strong – live is great! We have all the answers. However, there is another all too painful part of life. We realize some of our body parts begin wearing out; a loved one dies; our job is gone; we’re much too busy; or we are bored beyond words, or alone. Maybe our faith is fuzzy, and we’re full of questions and doubts.
There is a legend from the Orient about a traveler making his way to the city. One night he meets two other travelers along the road: Fear and Plague. Plague explains to the traveler that once they arrived, they are expected to kill 10,000 people in the city.
The traveler asks Plague if Plague would do all the killing.
“Oh, no. I shall kill only few hundred. My friend Fear will kill the others.”
Fear – whether real or imagined – can discourage us, overwhelm us, strangle us. But Jesus assures us that if we possess just a “mustard seed’s” amount of faith, we can face the fear of failure, the fear of need, the fear of death that undermines our attempts to live lives worthy of the disciple’s call. If we really possess the faith we claim, we can “uproot” those things that strangle love, justice and reconciliation. We can reap great measures of joy and goodness from the smallest acts of kindness and love. The mustard seed of the Gospel challenges us to take hold of the opportunities we have for planting and reaping a harvest of justice, compassion and reconciliation.
Les Brown once said: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
In faith, as doubtful and imperfect as we can sometimes be – no matter where we are in life – a heart full of love – always has something to share. May we trust in God always!
A fellow pilgrim,
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