Reflection for Saturday, September 23, 2006: 24th week in Ordinary Time.

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Shirley, Nancy
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The obvious reason behind writing these reflections is to provide a perspective that is not at a theological level but rather the lived experience with the Word. Yet as a writer I find that the assignments are exactly what I need to hear on any particular day and I am the one blest at the end of it. The readings for today were no exception. I viewed them a couple of weeks ago and explored superficially about St. Pio. As usual after my first review I set the readings aside for a while. The subsequent events were incredible.|I was confronted by the need to really trust as I have so often reflected upon in these writings. I have to schedule surgery and the findings and subsequent treatments are uncertain. As I discussed this with my husband and other loved ones, I again referred back to the need for trust in the Lord and whatever His plan is for me. I even talked about the times I have spoken of trust and once again need to "walk the talk." I know that the results will be part of the plan and whatever lessons I am to learn or model from this experience.|As I opened my reminder for the posting, I reviewed the readings I had put aside. The first thing that caught my eye was the responsorial psalm and the clear direction to trust and walk in the presence of the Lord. Okay, once again the readings speak directly to me and offer me comfort before I write a word for anyone else. Then I began in earnest to read about St. Pio of Pietrelcina and the healing he accomplished. Again I felt the Divine hand of comfort and guidance. It was with great trust and faith that many traveled to see St. Pio and experienced healing at his hand through Divine intervention.|The gospel reminds us that we all have the seed of faith planted _ how it grows is, indeed, varied. The infertile soil unwilling to embrace the seed and nurture it to grow, the weeds (the garbage of life) choking off the growing plant before maturity. Even the rock soil where the plant begins to grows but doesn't establish any true root base. With embarrassment I can see some stages of my live and times when I let the weeds _ the influence of others and material things choke off my faith and spiritual practices. I once again must thank my mother for helping roots to be established. So with a grateful heart, I believe now the seeds of faith fall on fertile ground. I know that I am blest and that is Grace in my life.|The story of incredible guidance and support this past weekend goes on. As I went to mass on this past Sunday I sat with an open heart to hear the word. I was not prepared for the affirmation and clear support that I was to receive. The first song was Be Not Afraid. I immediately asked my husband for his hankie! Of course, this song is listed in the "trust" part of the songbook. Then we sang On Eagles Wings _ another selection in the trust section and out with the hankie again. Okay, if I had any doubts about trusting surely by now they were removed. I whispered to my husband that if they sang Amazing Grace I would lose it. When we were told to turn to Amazing Grace I just looked at him. Our conversation coming home was focused on the "miracles" of the mass. The readings were about healing, in fact our response prior to the gospel included God cures all diseases, the songs gave me and him comfort beyond words. These songs were among those I chose for my mother's funeral and listed them years ago what I would want at mine. Not because of an gloominess with them but because of the very uplifting nature and comfort they offered. The only song missing from my mother's funeral was Here I am, Lord.|Our comfort experience was not to end. As we traveled to my granddaughter's baptism, we prayed a rosary together. Have I mentioned how grateful I am for a husband that shares this faith journey with me? We arrived at the small rural church nearly filled with their congregation and after some preliminary prayers and music we sang the first song. More tissues _ it was Precious Lord _ while not sung at my mom's funeral, it is one of my favorites and on my list. I looked at the number of the last song _ I needed to be prepared and unbelievably it was Here I am, Lord! The readings were the same focusing upon healing and the faith of the woman in seeking healing for her child. Guess I needed to hear that twice this week!|I guess you can interpret the morning in many ways _ only one is clear to me, the hand of God was there to comfort, affirm, and clearly let me know I am not alone. I am no more special than any other child of God, my story of the day is one that is repeated over and over _ but, are our hearts open to it and recognize it? I am grateful to have experienced such profound love with open eyes. My fears were much abated and every day since I am still visibly seeing that love. The billboard on the highway that advertises Blue Cross, Blue Shield that caught my eye as I rounded the curve probably has been there for awhile. The largest word on it is TRUST _ I truly noticed it for the first time on Monday!|The email received on Tuesday with an interview with Rick Warren (A Purpose Driven Life author) which concluded with|Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.|Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.|Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.|Painful moments, TRUST GOD.|Every moment, THANK GOD.|I am blest, indeed!
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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