Reflection for Wednesday, September 1, 2021: 22nd Week of Ordinary Time.
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|I will thank you always for what you have done,|and proclaim the goodness of your name|before your faithful ones.|R. I trust in the mercy of God for ever.|I am a pessimist, and my tendency is not to trust in God's mercy but to worry and try to figure out how to do things myself. A good friend from Bible study regularly points out that we know God wants good for us and that He works all things for good for us, so there is no need to worry. I know this, but I still struggle. So how to get to a point of trusting regularly? The psalmist offers one idea that I find useful: Thank God always for what He has done and proclaim the goodness of the Lord. I can attest that an attitude of gratitude is much more pleasant than a complaining, worrisome one, even more so when it brings us closer to God.|Some of you know I recently was involved in caring for an elderly parent in the last stages of life, and I write this reflection only a few days after the funeral. When my father's health reached the point where he no longer could stay in his apartment, we decided to move him to my sister's home so that she, her husband and I could care for him. The last few months were difficult, and there were times when my sister and/or I started to feel overwhelmed. Every time, and several times before we reached that point, God mercifully and lovingly provided for what we needed: the loan of a lift chair; food dropped by the house; someone unexpectedly coming to see Dad, which let us take a nap after a sleep-deprived night; a timely encouraging phone call or email during lonely times; every visit by hospice workers; and the list goes on and on. |One particularly stressful time, when the round-the-clock care was becoming more than we could handle, we realized that we needed assistance – but Dad was resistant to "strangers." We were given a list of unfamiliar names to call, but before we got that far, two people almost dropped in our laps. The first is a young CNA whom my brother-in-law had coached and who had been my Dad's neighbor a few years earlier. My brother-in-law overheard her saying that a job caring for someone had just ended so she was available and interested. The second, a Pentecostal pastor who feels called to minister to people nearing the end of life, was mentioned to my sister at a dental appointment. Every time those women came through the door throughout the weeks, I know God was caring for my sister and me.|I struggled writing that last paragraph. My purpose is not to emphasize the difficulties I faced, but to share how present God was in a trying situation. My intent is to heed the psalmist's direction to thank God for all that was done, and to proclaim God's goodness to the faithful (you readers). God provided all we needed, sometimes before we knew we needed it. I know that I can trust in God's mercy for ever.|So, let me leave you with a couple of action items. First, continue to pray for others. I am convinced that prayer works, and it also is uplifting to know that others care for you in that way. Second, be open to the Spirit's prompting to call or write someone, to drop off some food or run an errand, to be an agent of God's mercy.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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