Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017
in Ordinary Time
Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
I will be showing my age and possibly run the risk of losing many Generation X and millennial readers when I use this example, but sometimes when I feel at the end of my rope, or look around at the state of the world or even look at how my day-to-day life can seem out of control, I often think of a 1970s television show called Hee Haw.
There was a recurring segment that featured a song with the lyric:
"Gloom, despair and agony on me/ Deep, dark depression, excessive misery./ If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all; Gloom, despair and agony on me."
The song was meant to be comedic, but there are times in my life when I take this lyric quite literally.
We all go through times of doubt, worry and despair. For some, this state of mind can be persistent. There are no simple answers or one-size-fits-all remedies. Even the powerful words of the holy Scriptures are not some kind of divine magic formula that, when read, come with a guarantee to ease all symptoms and launch us into euphoria. Yes, miracles happen, but they are not the sole guarantee of God's presence in our life.
God is present and aware of every moment of our life. While he does from time to time step in and dramatically impact the created order, more often than not God chooses to walk with us through the hard times to help us grow in holiness.
This week's readings give us some hope and some advice as to what to do when our world becomes too much.
First, the hope: The prophet Isaiah says: "Can a mother forget her infant? ... Even should she forget, I will never forget you."
Then, Jesus reveals what we should do when we are overwhelmed: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." He means, stop focusing on yourself and the temporal world and look to him and his kingdom.
But not only that. Also seek to be righteous or holy like he is holy. Then, and only then, will there be perspective and peace. We might feel lost, but we are not forgotten.
This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.