Weekly Bulletin & Pastor's Note - February 17th, 2019

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Pastor's Note for Sunday, February 17th, 2019

By Fr John Sullivan, SJ

I tend to have a total trust in God under certain circumstances.  When things are going smoothly, according to plan, then my trust is solid.  I thank God in my prayers for his fidelity and care, for listening to my requests and wants.  In my words to others, I preach that God never forsakes us, that we just have to have trust and faith.  When things don’t go my way, when uncertainty enters my life, when I await some difficult news for myself or a loved one, my trust quickly disappears.  My trust and faith “turn on a dime” and I become confused and feel alone.  Indeed, I begin to live the words of Jeremiah: “Cursed is the one who trusts in mere mortals and makes mere flesh their strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.  That person shall be like a shrub in the desert.”  The remedy for us, if we feel our trust in the Lord slipping away, is to remind ourselves of what St. Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians.

When Paul writes to the early Christians at Corinth, he speaks to them of the pre-eminence of the resurrection in our faith.  Some Christians in Corinth had begun to question the lasting consequences of the resurrection of Jesus Christ for us.  Some may have denied that Christ rose at all, while others may have agreed that he rose but that this didn’t mean we also would be given eternal life.  St. Paul wrote that “if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised.  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile . . . [and] we are of all people most to be pitied.”  Without the resurrection, we are like lifeless cardboard cut-outs, i.e., lifeless and empty.  But with the resurrection in the forefront of our minds and hearts, we become “like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.  It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”  The resurrection means eternal life in the life to come, but it also means eternal life in our lives now.  The resurrection is the eternal word and promise of God that we will never be alone, that he is always with us and that we will be with him.  It means that we are not lifeless cardboard cut-outs, rather we are forever surrounded by the understanding and compassionate love of God our Father.  Our trust and faith is not in an idea, it is in a person.  And this person has given to us his word, his promise.  In Christ he has shown us the infinite extent of his fidelity, “even accepting death, death on a cross.”  This person is our God.  And so “Blessed the one who trusts in the Lord.”

Take Care and God Bless, -Fr John

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