By Karen Sheehy
In last Sunday’s Old Testament reading, we read about Father Abraham, our father in faith, the father of the Jewish Nation and promised Messiah, Jesus. As Christians, we are all adoptive sons and daughters of God and, as such, descendants of Abraham as well. It was due to Abraham’s steadfast faith in the Resurrection to new life, that he was able to offer up his son, Isaac, in obedient trust and love, (GN 22:1-18). Abraham’s willing surrender reminds me of the words given by the Lord to St. Faustina and inscribed on the Divine Mercy Image, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
This kind of faithful trust and blind obedience can be difficult in today’s world of self-empowerment. So how do we do it, how do we place our trust in Jesus? Today’s readings give us the answer.
- To Abraham, the Lord said, “In your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing…. because you obeyed my command,” (GN 22:18). The blessings given in exchange for our obedience may not be immediately visible but they are assured by the Lord. As St. Paul reminds us, it is “Christ Jesus…who died-or, rather, was raised-who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us,” (Rom 8:34).
- Perhaps my favorite example or reason to trust in Jesus comes from Sunday’s Gospel, as Peter struggles to process the shear glory of God during the Transfiguration. “Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him,’” (Mk 9:5-7). In these words, we find our own lack of knowledge and truest source of wisdom, Jesus Christ.
As I look back over the last year, I find many unexpected detours and hills left to climb, but most of all, I see a year forever marked by the transformative powers of the Holy Spirit. My year has truly been one of contrasts, a year filled with personal failings and unfulfilled aspirations, along with unbounding love and divine transformation. “Come, Holy Spirit, come. Make us a holy family founded on love.” Over the last year, this simple prayer has been at the start of every family rosary, individual prayer or silent meditation. Perhaps this simple prayer or act of surrender has been the source of this year’s profound transformation. My son, Joseph, who has struggled for years, has made miraculous progress, both as an individual and as a family member. Over the last year, I have watched in amazement as my husband, Tom, has become the spiritual shepherd and protector of our family. In both regards, I have tried for years to accomplish what the Holy Spirit has accomplished in record time.
“What was different about this last year, besides our family prayer?” you may ask. I would say it was my own getting out of the way and trusting in the Lord to make all things new again. Perhaps only through the recognition of my nothingness, in comparison to the omnipotence of God, was I finally able to surrender my all in loving trust in Jesus.
I believe, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted,” (PS 116:10).
O Lord, I am your servant……you have loosed my bonds. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, (PS 116:16-17).
Starting now, today, and especially at the next Mass we participate in, let us give our own offering of thanks (Eucharist) and total surrender to the Lord as we recall St. Paul’s words, “Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?” (Rom 8:31-32).
Jesus, I Trust in You!
About the Author:
Karen Sheehy is a devout Catholic, wife and mother, motivational speaker, blogger and developer of spiritualsafariguide.com, your passport to a world of spiritual inspiration and understanding. To learn more about Karen Sheehy and her upcoming book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, visit http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com
Karen! Thank you for this particular blog, it really is resonating especially with some of the things my family and I have been going through
Hi Carla, so glad this reflection spoke to you amidst your family’s particular circumstances. My prayers are with you. Know that you are not alone. God’s got this. All in His timing. Karen
Thank you — I love the family prayer.
The prayer was a very simple gift given to me by the Holy Spirit at a time when it was most needed. Simple but profound in its impact, thanks be to God.