Reflection for Tuesday, January 24, 2017: 3rd Week in Ordinary Time.

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Hopp, Larry
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Today's scriptures provide some valuable insight regarding the year ahead.   What resolutions have you formulated for 2017?  Are they the kind the world encourages or was God a part of your resolution development?   Did God create us to simply follow a set of rules or is there something more to our lives?|The letter to the Hebrews definitely helps us navigate those questions.  In chapter 10, we are very clearly reminded that since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make us perfect…   God knew that we are sinners and incapable of flawlessly following His perfect law.  He knew that we needed a Savior.  Jesus came to once-and-for-all provide us with a path for our consecration, for eternal life.  But as incredible as that gift is, taking a closer look at the details of how Jesus went about His time on earth is where we find the answer to our 2017 resolution questions.|Jesus remained focused as noted in Hebrews where he said: Behold, I come to do your will.   That guidance was strongly reinforced in the 40th chapter of Psalms where we are reminded over and over again to respond to God with Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.  And if that was not clear enough, Psalm 40 also directs us to have ears open to obedience you gave me, to announce your justice in the vast assembly, and to make no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly.  How much more clarity could we ask for?|Yet, with so many issues clamoring for my attention day in and day out, I continually seem to lose my focus on the simple directive of "doing His will" and "announcing Him to our world".  The world tells us that we had better keep our attention (our resolutions) focused upon the evils facing us, many of which threaten to overpower us, to consume our thoughts and even to force us to lose focus upon why we were created.  If only I could stay focused upon what really matters.|Psalm 40 reminds us what are lives really should be focused upon.  It isn't simply following the sacrifices or oblations of the law.  It is so much more.  Coming to do God's will specifically involves announcing God's justice to the vast assembly with confidence and assurance while making no secret of His kindness and truth.  In theory that certainly sounds good.  Revealing what is in our hearts should be something that simply flows naturally from us.|Then why is it that I so often fall short in sharing what is in my heart.  Jesus' love as my God and Savior is so incredibly amazing, how could I not want to share that story with everyone I meet.  Could it be that I have fallen into the world's idea that if it is not complicated, it must not be true - or that I simply have to be an expert to really convey this amazing story?  The answer of course can be found in His Holy Word.  In Matthew 11, where Jesus reminds us "blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom".  Could it be that He is telling us to just keep it simple.  I do not need to be the theological expert.  Children certainly aren't Biblical experts, yet they can best understand the incredibly simple message that God loves us and the answer to eternal life runs through our Savior Jesus Christ.  Faith like a child simply means unquestionably trusting God and doing His will.  As Jesus further explains in the third chapter of Mark, we are doing God's will when we share our faith and His simple, yet profound story.  Letting His love flow through us to all our "brothers and sisters" in Christ as well as all those who have yet to grasp the simple truth of Jesus.  Could there possibly be a more important 2017 resolution for me?|Lord, please forgive me in the all to frequent times when you have provided opportunities and I have failed to share my faith.  I know you are truth and that you are what this world so desperately needs.  Please give me the faith of a little child to simply trust in your unfailing love and to remain laser focused upon and attuned to following your holy will for my life.  Nothing this world cries out as important can compare to allowing your living water to flow through us all.  Give me the wisdom and strength to make proclaiming you my number one focus throughout 2017 – my 2017 resolution.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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