Eighth Sunday of the Year A

This Sunday‘s Gospel challenges us to trust God

The readings clearly tell us what kind of God we have, and how we are to respond to the God of love. The imagery used to refer to God today crosses all religions and faiths and expressions of God. It goes back to basics.

Nothing can happen without trust. All human relationships, friendships, contracts, agreements and terms of employment are based on trust.

God asks the same of us – a relationship based on our trust.

Do we trust Him? How much does it take? How many proofs do we need? Just as human relationships take time to build on trust in small things to begin with until greater and greater trust develops – with confidence and discretion. It CAN happen that we hit it off with someone instantly. It CAN happen that there is love at first sight. But it is more often the case that we only gradually build up a friendship over time.

God’s relationship of love is unqualified, spontaneous and unconditional. But we object that we can’t see him, so...it requires faith. God does act and speak to us in situations and people and in answered prayer. There are too many coincidences to suggest otherwise. But over time He does gradually let go of the immediate supports and ready answers to prayer and slowly wants us and allows us to stand on our own two feet and not get everything instantaneously our own way or on our terms.
In the unlikely situation of a breast –feeding or expectant mother forgetting her child for a moment, (as we read in the First Reading) God will never forget us for an instant.

But we forget:

• To put God’s will first
• To put God’s concerns first
• That God is two steps ahead of us
• He clearly sees what lies ahead
• Nothing is to be gained by worry
• We are not in full control
• Worries and concerns are real
• Not to serve 2 masters
• While Clothing and food are the two most basic needs, we are not to worry, be anxious, or afraid
• This day is all we have, to act

Perhaps there is another veiled challenge – given our long experience of Fatherly provision and care in God’s hands, which often comes through the support of others, can we not likewise co-operate in God’s plan by providing shelter and food to those in want, to pass it on, carry it forward, as one good turn deserves another?

If I am not to be consuming and wasting time on food and clothing, and to rest assured that they are going to be looked after, well then, what must I do? God’s will. Jesus said ‘my food is to the will of the Father’. What does God want? Do I ask Him? When did I last ask Him what HE wanted instead of what I wanted? What does he want me to do to co-operate with His loving plan for me and how can I make it easier for Him to ‘get His way’, as it were? What am I afraid of letting go?
Jesus is clear: the more I put God and His will (‘thy Kingdom come, thy will be done’ –are one and the same petition really) first in my life, the more all the other details are looked after.

Try it and see.

It has been my experience as a priest that the more time I give in prayer and doing what I ought to be doing in my pastoral duties instead of what suits me at every given moment, the more the everyday concerns are cared for by God or they take care of themselves. The more time I make for God and others, the more time I seem to have and everything works out better than if I had done things solo.

I am amazed I am such a slow learner.

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