Reflection for Saturday, August 12, 2000: 18th week in Ordinary Time.

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Culhane, Marianne
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"For the vision...has its time,...If it delays, wait for it."|"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, ...nothing will be impossible for you."|"Lord, give me patience...and I want it right now."|Today's readings speak of faith and patience: Faith that right will triumph, and patience to work and wait for the time God chooses for that triumph, even if that time to us seems overdue.|The past century has seen some immensely powerful evildoers. Hitler and Stalin fit Habbakuk's complaint, "Shall he, then, keep on brandishing his sword to slay peoples without mercy?" It took years, but the Allies won the war and still more years later, Stalin's legacy of communism, like its symbol the Berlin Wall, was shattered. While some reviled God for not working faster, others knew that "the vision still has its time." They not only waited, but worked while they waited, to make visions of peace and justice come true. Through these faith-filled people, God's promise was fulfilled; they did the impossible.|Recently, a much smaller matter showed me the faith and patience I lack. My mother had surgery on her eye socket. The surgeon removed a growth, found it nonmalignant, and called the operation a success.|A few days later, though, when the anesthetic and bandages were gone, my mother could not raise her eyelid. Her "good eye" was useless.|Mother and I reacted quite differently. I worried myself into believing that her eyelid would forever be stuck shut. I spent hours trying to think how doctors could work around such paralysis, and how my mother could live with near blindness. I was angry with the surgeon and with God.|But Mother had "faith the size of the mustard seed." She decided that with God's help, her eye would work again. She sat in her chair, prayed, and kept trying to move those muscles. Nothing happened for some days, but she kept on. Finally, there was a flutter and she saw light. Now, each day she can raise it higher, and we all expect a full recovery.|A small matter...just one person, just one eye, just a few days. But for me, a clear demonstration of patience and faith.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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