Entrusted with Much

08-07-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

I am always struck and caused to reflect when I read these words from the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 12:32 -3-48): “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” What have we been entrusted with in the first place? First and foremost is the gift of life. How blessed we are to have been given the gift of life from our parents and for all the love that they have nurtured us with. In spite of all the anger and chaos in our nation we are truly blessed to live in America, especially those of us who are citizens.

One of the things I have done in past columns is reflect on the words of some of our founding fathers who are quoted at the beginning of each decade of Patriotic Rosary. What impresses me is their wonder and awe at the country they founded and their gratitude to Almighty God for the unique country we are. Each of the introductions to the decades saw our new nation as a gift from God and warned us not to ever forget that. They had the wisdom to see what the prophets of the Old Testament warned the Jewish people about; turning away from God. Our founding fathers realized that if God was pushed out of the national picture we would lose the gift of our democracy. Democracy gives everyone a voice, especially at election time, and a responsibility to see who we are and where we have come from through the eyes of faith. How good it is to look at ourselves as Catholics in America through the lens of the above words: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

In the second reading for today’s Mass (Hebrews (11:1- 2, 8-19) we are called to be inspired by the courage of Abraham in the Old Testament. Abraham trusted God’s promise that He would have a son even though he and his wife were too old and had been barren. The second great leap of faith Abraham had to take was to leave the security of his current place of residence and begin the journey to the Promised Land. He died centuries before his descendants actually got there. But he trusted God. He saw God giving him more with the birth of his son and trusted that God would guide him to the more of the Promised Land.

Yes we are blessed to be Americans and live in this country. But the MORE we have received is the gift of faith. At every Mass in our parish we pray: “That all that divides us in our nation and in our world will be overcome and resolved by our sincere faith, love, forgiveness and prayers.” It is only with trust in God and His mercy, love, and truth that we can live together in true peace, not only on a world and national level but also in our homes and communities. As much as our nation is a gift it is only a gift to the degree that each one of us is a gift to our nation. That means embracing the truth that all life is a gift from God. He cherishes each one of us and waits to welcome us into our ultimate homeland, the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is not here, especially when we see the hellish things we do to one another as human beings. Every human life is precious. We all seek and need to be loved as God loves us. Reflecting on the words of today’s Gospel (“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”) will open our minds and hearts to who we truly are and how powerful and life giving our presence can be.

I offer Psalm 46 for your prayerful reflection.

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.
The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
The waters of a river give joy to God's city,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken;
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken:
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.
The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire. "Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!"
The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen.

Psalm Prayer: All-powerful Father, the refuge and strength of your people, you protect in adversity and defend in prosperity those who put their trust in you. May they persevere in seeking your will and find their way to you through obedience.

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