“Find your delight in the Lord,
who will give you your heart’s desire.” Psalm 37:4
~”Then young women shall make merry and dance, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.”~Jeremiah 31:13
I am having a birthday in 2 days, one of those, “nothing too special” kind birthdays as I will be turning 24. In the past few days I have been doing quite a bit of thinking about this next year of my life. 23 was a year full of changes: new city, new jobs, new roommate and apartment, and the start of a Master’s program. 24 will be a year to continue those things, but what about faith wise? Or non work wise?
Reading this verse made me smile because with all of this time I have spent stressing about the future, I just need to take a step back and “make merry and dance.” God has the wonderful capability to banish my stresses and sorrows, but I need to be better about telling him about these.
I had an interesting discussion earlier this week with someone who considered himself a “spiritual person.” I was telling him my views on the Catholic faith to which he replied: “that’s cute that you have found something that makes you feel secure, that’s great for you.” I was somewhat taken aback at his statement that my faith was just “this good feeling” that I clung to in times of need.
But then I really took a step back when I thought about when my faith really is the most prevalent in my life, and it sort of hit me that I am sometimes guilty of this to an extent.
And so…with Easter just around the corner, how can I channel all of these thoughts/feelings into preparing for the resurrection of Jesus? Those around Jesus during his last few days surely must have felt heavy hearts as they were getting ready to see their friend get led off to his death. The last thing on their mind was probably celebrating or having a happy feast. How will we celebrate this coming Easter? By opening Easter baskets filled of candy? By spreading joy to those around us?
~”Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”~Matthew 1:20-21
Saint Joseph…This is horrible to say, but sometimes I forget that Jesus had an earthly father! I so often pray for Mary’s intercessions, but I neglect to ask for this same thing from her husband! I think this day came in perfect timing at least for me to remind me of this.
When Joseph woke up from this dream, he must have felt a number of emotions ranging from confusion to happiness to fear. It obviously also must have given him that peace he needed, since he did not leave Mary as he had originally planned on doing.
This beautiful gesture of Joseph’s love for Mary seems applicable in our lives in different ways. For example, have we ever been placed with a decision to make in which we were “gung ho” set on doing it one way when at the last minute we felt that “little voice” inside telling us to do the other thing? As in Joseph’s case, this voice was fairly loud and clear-that of an angel- but sometimes our voice is different.
This whole Lent has been a time for trust for me which I’ve written about a few times I believe. I’m between jobs at the moment and have just been placing tremendous trust in God that the right job will become available to me. I’m sure that Joseph had been praying for clarity about his decision as well, and his prayer was answered beautifully 🙂
It’s a very hopeful thing to read about such a strong and committed man 🙂 I would like to offer a thanks to all of the wonderful fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, etc. who take care of the women in their lives. May we all strive to be more like Saint Joseph, listening to the voice of God even when it might not always be our first instinct to do so.
~”He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”~ Daniel 13:48-49
I was not familiar with this reading from Daniel before today, but I really enjoyed seeing some of the similarities between Susanna and Jesus’ criminal accusations. In both cases someone tried to speak out for their innocence, and in the case of Susanna this plea of innocence was heard.
Can you imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to be on trial for something? Especially if you were innocent of the alleged crime, and you knew that every word you said could make or break your case? I feel like if I was an innocent person on trial, I would surely say something wrong which would probably result in my being found guilty/thrown in prison for an indefinite amount of time.
I think if there is anything we can take home with this reading and verse today, it is to not judge others/make decisions about someone or something until we know the whole story. When we make rash decisions, we tend to overlook important details which can often result in the wrong decision.
And so with Lent wrapping up in under 2 weeks’ time, what areas of our life can we improve upon so that we do not act like the judges in this story who wrongly accused Susanna.
I missed two days of my posts…oops. Good thing I don’t get a grade for these posts 🙂
Today when I was at Church the priest told a funny story that I’m going to steal bits and pieces of to illustrate my thoughts:
“A little girl, probably around 8 years old, was sitting on a plane waiting for it to take off. Her mother had just gotten up to use the bathroom, and so the man sitting next to her asked if she wanted to visit. ‘What do you want to visit about?’ she asked the man. He saw that she was reading a book entitled “Jesus Loves Me,” so he said that he wanted to discuss her book. She agreed not quite sure what the man was going to say about her favorite book, but she was willing to listen.
He started by asking, “How can you believe the garbage that is in that book? All of the stories of Jesus, he was a crazy man?” The little girl remained quite calm and asked the man a few questions. “Sir, have you ever noticed how bunnies poop very small turds?” The man not expecting this question, paused for a bit before nodding his head. “How about cows, have you noticed how their poop is in big clumps?” Again the man completely unsure of where this conversation was going nodded his head in agreement. “Okay, how about horses, their poop is in huge clumps?” He finally said, “Yes little girl, I know all about animals and their defecation process, I’m a vet.” “Oh really?” asked the little girl smiling back ever so sweetly. “Well you don’t know poop about Jesus or God.”
Anyways…the point that I wanted to make this story (okay I also wanted to share because the reaction of the congregation when the priest said poop was literally priceless!), is that so many people really don’t know “poop” about a lot of things but act like they do. This man gave no solid argument for his reason in disbelieving Jesus, it was just a thought he had in his head that he thought must be right.
Do we ever do this? Think of something in our head as so true that when we have to give an answer as to why we really don’t know how to defend it?
I think with Easter coming up in these short few weeks and so much going on with the new pope and what not, what are ways in which we can be better defenders of our faith?